Court-martial to begin for Special Forces colonel accused of sexual assault

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The court-martial for an Army Special Forces colonel accused of sexual assault will begin on Tuesday and is expected to last for three days.

According to an Army announcement, Col. Kevin Russell's court-martial will go from Aug. 25 to Aug. 28 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Russell has been charged with five counts of sexual assault. Elise Van Pool, a spokeswoman for U.S. Army Special Operations Command, said earlier this month that Russell was accused of "sexual assault and abusive contact." 

A source familiar with the charges, who spoke on condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the issue, told Task & Purpose that Russell's charge sheet — which provides more details of the allegations — is not being released in an effort to protect the identity of the victim.

Col. Kevin Russell

Col. Kevin Russell.

Russell commissioned into the Army in 1992 as an engineering officer, and during his career has served with the 2nd Infantry Division, 82nd Airborne Division, and 7th Special Forces Group.  

He previously served as the Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT) Theater Liaison Element Team Chief to U.S. Central Command, and the head of U.S. Southern Command's Joint Task Force-Bravo. His awards include four Bronze Stars, two Meritorious Service Medals, four Army Commendation Medals.

The alleged assaults did not happen while Russell was at SOUTHCOM, according to the source familiar with the charges.