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A retired Army 2-star is heading to trial on charges that he raped his daughter

In March, a military judge dismissed six rape charges against retired Maj. Gen. James Grazioplene, citing a new five-year statute of limitations prescribed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Now, he will face three charges of rape and three of incest at a civilian trial scheduled for late April, stemming from allegations he sexually assaulted his teenage daughter in the 1980s.

Following the Army’s dismissal, authorities in Prince William County, Virginia ― a state with no statute of limitations on rape ― opened an investigation into Grazioplene, now 69.

Though most of the alleged offenses, which took place from 1983 to 1989, happened on military installations, the new case focuses on a two-year period in which the family lived off-post in Woodbridge, Virginia.

Army Times does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault, but Jennifer Elmore, 47, came forward in a Dec. 16 Washington Post story to talk about her allegations of abuse against her father.

"Sometimes, it’s just easier to shut your mouth,” Elmore told the Post. “But if I stay silent and the next person opts for that, and the next person opts for that, and the next person opts for that, where are we?”

Elmore first reported the assaults to the Army in 2015, 10 years after Grazioplene retired. At the time, the UCMJ had no statute of limitations on rape, and authorities convened an Article 32 hearing in August 2017 to hear evidence that could have led to a court-martial.

But a February ruling in the Armed Forces Court of Appeals set a precedent for a five-year limit, with the case of an Air Force lieutenant colonel who had been accused of a 1997 assault.

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis re-enlists members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (Old Guard) during a ceremony Sept. 21, 2017, at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va. (Tech. Sgt. Brigitte N. Brantley/Air Force)
Commanders must stop boycotting the UCMJ

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' call for commanders to punish illegal conduct using the military justice system is a welcome and needed change to end what has become a boycott of the UCMJ, this writer says.

Grazioplene, who lives in Gainesville, Virginia, was arrested Dec. 7 and held without bond in the Prince William County Jail. On Dec. 20, a judge denied another request for bail.

If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison for each incest count and life for each rape count. He could also face discipline from the Army in the form of a new grade determination board, to assess the last rank at which he served honorably, according to his criminal record.

If he is found guilty of raping his daughter in 1987, his retirement pay could be recalculated to his rank at that point in time. A retired O-8, he could be knocked down three or four pay grades.

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