A three-star general has dismissed two specifications of abusive sexual contact against Army Col. Jon Meredith, a former brigade commander at Fort Cavazos, Texas, who was accused of assaulting the wife of another officer who was away on a field training exercise.

“The decision was based on an assessment of multiple factors including a careful consideration of the current evidence, the interests of justice, input from the alleged victim, and preservation of good order and discipline,” said Army Lt. Col. Tania Donovan, a spokeswoman for III Corps.

Prosecutors accuse Meredith of kissing and groping the officer’s wife and making other unwanted sexual advances toward her on July 23, 2022, according to charging documents. The incident allegedly took place after Meredith went to the home of the officer, whom Meredith knew was away at the time, the charging documents say.

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Meredith was fired in October as commander of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Cavalry Division. He still faces two specifications of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, Donovan told Task & Purpose on Monday.

Army Fort Cavazos 1st Cavalry Division Col. Jon Meredith
Col. Jon Meredith (center), commander, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team “Ironhorse,” greets Soldiers from 2nd Battalion 12th Cavalry Regiment “Thunderhorse,” upon their return to Fort Hood on Jan 15, 2022. Maj. Marcellus L. Simmons/U.S.)

At his May 15 arraignment, Meredith pleaded not guilty to the charges of abusive sexual contact and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.

Stars and Stripes first reported that Army Lt. Gen. Sean C. Bernabe, commander of III Corps, withdrew and dismissed the two specifications of abusive sexual contact against Meredith on Sept. 11.

Bernabe decided to withdraw the specifications after consulting the office of special trial counsel, Donovan said.

“This included an assessment by an OSTC [office of special trial counsel] civilian expert who is a seasoned prosecutor with decades of experience prosecuting sexual assault in the civilian criminal justice system,” Donovan said.

Starting in December, each military branch will have a special trial counsel that will assume the responsibilities of prosecuting sexual assault cases.  The move comes after an independent panel that looked into how the U.S. military handles sexual assault and sexual harassment cases recommended removing prosecution authority from the chain of command.

Task & Purpose was unable to reach Meredith’s attorney for comment on Monday.

Meredith was commissioned as an armor officer in 1996 and he later deployed twice to Iraq and made another two deployments to Afghanistan, according to his Army biography. He has completed the Basic Airborne Course, Air Assault Course, Armor Officers Basic Course, Armor Captains Career Course, Army Command and General Staff College, and the Army School of Advanced Military Studies. 

His military awards include two Bronze Star Medals, Army Commendation Medal with “V” device and the Combat Action Badge.

Meredith’s trial is expected to start on Sept. 25.

His wife, Col. Ann Meredith, received administrative action after being relieved in March as the commander of the 89th Military Police Brigade at Fort Cavazos, Donovan told Task & Purpose at the time.

Bernabe lost confidence in Col. Ann Meredith’s judgment following an investigation, Donovan said in March. She did not specify exactly why Col. Ann Meredith had been fired.

Stars and Stripes later reported that Col. Ann Meredith was relieved for allegedly sending a text message that was construed as trying to interfere with an investigation into her husband.

Col. Ann Meredith is still in the Army and stationed at Fort Cavazos, Donovan said.

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