The former top NCO for the 2nd Infantry Division Artillery will be reduced in rank and reprimanded after a jury of officers found him guilty of abusive sexual contact against a junior enlisted soldier and attempted fraternization, according to a command spokesperson.

Sgt. Maj. Dustin Bice, who will also forfeit half of his pay for three months, was convicted Dec. 6 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, according to I Corps spokesperson Col. Joey Sullinger.

Bice formerly served as the command sergeant major of the 2nd Infantry Division Artillery, but he was relieved once the charges were referred to a general court-martial, a 7th Infantry Division spokesperson told Army Times in July.

A charge sheet obtained by Army Times in July stated that Bice groped a subordinate on the breast, buttocks and thigh without her consent. The abusive sexual contact took place in February.

Bice pled not guilty, according to court records. The judge dismissed charges alleging that Bice had sexually harassed the soldier, in addition to one alleging that he’d told the soldier to delete her text messages from him. It’s not clear which of the three specifications of abusive sexual contact was dismissed.

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The conviction and reduction likely means that Bice, who has more than 26 years in service, will be separated from the Army — the service’s “retention control points” mandate that sergeants first class be discharged at 24 years. It’s not yet clear whether he will be able to retire or not, nor is it clear at what rank his retirement would be if permitted.

According to his civilian attorney, Jocelyn Stewart, Bice still “maintains his factual innocence, as he had since the beginning of this investigation in February 2021,” and plans to appeal his conviction.

“Whether and at what rank Sergeant Major Bice could be retired from active service rests at present within the discretion of his command,” added Stewart. “It would be inappropriate to speculate at this time.”

Sullinger, the I Corps spokesperson, said “the command is currently considering all available administrative options following the court-martial of Sgt. Maj. Bice.”

Bice is at least the second field artillery CSM to be convicted of sexual misconduct in 2021.

The former senior enlisted leader of the 4th Infantry Division Artillery was sentenced in June after pleading guilty to an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate and sending lewd text messages to a woman.

That soldier, then-Sgt. Maj. Benito Perez, was initially charged with sexually assaulting a minor — the same woman to whom he was convicted of sending lewd text messages — but the child sex charges were dropped as part of a plea agreement, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Davis Winkie is a staff reporter covering the Army. He originally joined Military Times as a reporting intern in 2020. Before journalism, Davis worked as a military historian. He is also a human resources officer in the Army National Guard.

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