After almost seven hours of testimony Monday, the Article 32 hearing for a senior Army National Guard officer charged with knowingly exposing a woman to HIV by having unprotected sex will continue into Tuesday.
Col. Jeffrey Pounding, a Special Forces officer who is currently assigned as the deputy director of the National Guard Bureau's strategic plans and policy directorate (J-5), faces one charge each of assault, adultery and conduct unbecoming an officer.
The woman who is accusing Pounding of exposing her to HIV said their relationship began when they were both at Texas A&M University, where he was an Army fellow.
The two met for drinks, and their relationship quickly turned physical, she said.
As policy, Army Times does not name alleged victims of assault of a sexual nature.
The pair continued their relationship after Pounding completed his fellowship at the university; the woman said she met Pounding in the Washington, D.C., area and near Fort Bragg, North Carolina, when he was on work trips.
She also testified they did not use protection when they had sex, and he did not disclose his HIV status to her.
The woman said she was "devastated" when she received a call from a public health official informing her that she'd been exposed to HIV.
"[I was] sick to my stomach," she said on the witness stand. "I didn't know what to think. I thought I was going to die."
During her testimony, the woman said she had since been tested twice and is negative for HIV.
The woman was on the stand for more than five hours, as defense attorney Jim Gordon grilled her on her testimony, her work history and her personal life in an effort to determine her credibility.
The hearing was contentious at times, as Gordon and investigating officer Lt. Col. Steven Bryant sparred over Gordon's line of questioning.
The Article 32, which is similar to a civilian grand jury proceeding, is taking place at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C.
Pounding is accused of having unprotected sex with the woman who is not his wife during three different time periods, according to the charge sheet against him.
According to the charges, Pounding exposed his partner to the HIV virus, "a means likely to produce death or grievous bodily harm," through unprotected sex between Nov. 1, 2009, and May 31, 2010, in Bryan, Texas.
Another incident occurred Dec. 6-9, 2010, in Arlington, Virginia. A third incident is alleged to have occurred Sept. 6-9, 2011, in Southern Pines, North Carolina, according to the charge sheet.
Pounding knew he had the Human Immunodeficiency Virus but did not disclose that fact to his partner, according to the charge sheet.
Michelle Tan is the editor of Army Times and Air Force Times. She has covered the military for Military Times since 2005, and has embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Haiti, Gabon and the Horn of Africa.