The Army announced Wednesday that it has reinstated Maj. Gen. Stephen Maranian as commandant of the Army War College after an investigation could not establish “probable cause” that he had inappropriately touched an Army civilian employee.

Maranian was suspended on February 9 from his duties at the helm of the Army’s senior, strategic-level staff college. Task & Purpose later revealed that the suspension was related to an abusive sexual contact investigation.

The Army said that CID investigators, led by an experienced civilian, interviewed 16 witnesses — “several multiple times” — before presenting the case to prosecutors.

Notably, the decision not to prosecute the two-star “was not presented to any commander for a disposition decision,” according to the release.

Instead, “an independent special victim prosecutor” and “a former civilian prosecutor with 30 years’ experience who works as a highly qualified expert for the U.S. Army” made the decision not to charge Maranian after they determined the evidence was “not sufficient to establish probable cause that the offense had occurred,” the release stated.

Maranian, who has completed 11 overseas tours in his 33 year career, “will be immediately reinstated” as the War College’s commandant, the Army said.

The civilian-led process is in line with new efforts to remove sexual assault charging decisions from the chain of command.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin publicly announced his support for removing commanders’ decision authority on charging sexual assault cases in June, pledging to work with Congress on the issue.

And in May, the Army announced it had punished a two-star general for her command’s failure to properly handle sexual assault cases.

Davis Winkie is a senior reporter covering the Army, specializing in accountability reporting, personnel issues and military justice. He joined Military Times in 2020. Davis studied history at Vanderbilt University and UNC-Chapel Hill, writing a master's thesis about how the Cold War-era Defense Department influenced Hollywood's WWII movies.

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