‘A Reprehensible Act’: Four Kentucky National Guardsmen Accused of Sexual Assault

Four members of the Kentucky National Guard have been arrested on charges including rape stemming from an alleged sexual assault of an intoxicated female Guard member earlier this month.

PEOPLE obtained a statement from Kentucky State Police alleging the sexual assault happened June 2 in Calloway County, where the four men were preparing for a weekend deployment.

According to investigators, the four men — Anthony Tubolino, 25; Austin Dennis, 21; Tyler Hart, 19; and Jacob Ruth, 22 — “provided alcohol” to the victim, who is also a member of the National Guard, and “then sexually assaulted” her in a hotel room. The alleged incident occurred while the four men and the victim were off duty.

Because of the ongoing nature of the investigation, state police are releasing few details.

Officers were called to the Murray-Calloway County Hospital in Murray, Kentucky, on the morning of June 3 “for a report of a sexual assault.”

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The four suspects were arrested hours later, according to the police statement.

Tubolino was charged with rape, sodomy, and unlawful transaction with a minor while Dennis and Ruth face single sodomy counts. Hart was charged with sexual abuse and sodomy.

All four men have been released after posting $5,000 bail. Dennis has pleaded guilty to the charges against him; the three other defendants are expected to enter pleas during their arraignments July 5.

Tubolino’s attorney, Alan Simpson, called the allegations against his client “pretty outlandish.”

“My client is innocent of the allegations of sexual assault and we look forward to defending the charges in court,” Simpson tells PEOPLE. “This young lady had sex and performed oral sex on four different people and claims she was unconscious while doing so. Being blacked out drunk is one thing, but being unconscious is another. They were all in the National Guard together, and they consensually went to a hotel room, they consensually drank alcohol and they consensually engaged in sexual activity.”

Attorneys for the three other defendants could not be reached for comment.

The Kentucky National Guard issued a statement responding to the allegations.

“Sexual assault is not only a reprehensible act, it is a criminal act,” reads a statement from Maj. Gen. Stephen Hogan. “First and foremost our goal is to support the victim of this incident. It is damaging to our morale, to our readiness and to our combat ability. It has no place in the Kentucky National Guard.”

Hogan added that such allegations, if true, violate “all the values we hold dear as service members in the U.S. Military. The men and women of our organization are our greatest resource and we will do all we can to support the victim.”

from PEOPLE.com http://people.com/crime/kentucky-national-guard-members-alleged-rape/

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