A senior member of one of the Army’s most selective recruiting units faces a general court-martial in May on charges that he sexually assaulted a woman in 2019, Army Times has learned.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Travis Gause is assigned to the Special Operations Recruiting Battalion at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, according to U.S. Army Recruiting Command spokesperson Brian McGovern.

Gause’s unit sources talent for special operations units from within the Army.

“Gause was mainly focused on internal recruiting efforts to seek current enlisted Soldiers to apply to become warrant officers,” McGovern added. “He has been suspended from all recruiting duties and has been assigned to administrative duties.”

According to a redacted charge sheet provided by USAREC, Gause allegedly committed a penetrative sexual assault against a woman sometime between Feb. 26, 2019, and Feb. 28, 2019, in Fayetteville.

The charge sheet lists two specifications of the same event — one accusing Gause of doing it “without the [woman’s] consent” and a second that alleges the woman “was incapable of consenting” because she was under the influence of alcohol and “[Gause] knew or reasonably should have known.”

Gause declined to comment through his attorney, Andrew Dualan.

“We look forward to proving his innocence at trial,” Dualan said in a Friday phone interview.

It’s not clear whether the case was previously investigated by civilian authorities before being taken to trial in the military justice system.

Recent court rulings could potentially have an impact on Gause’s case. After a 2020 Supreme Court decision, military courts-martial are the only remaining legal system in the country that do not require an unanimous jury verdict to convict a defendant of a crime. But that could soon change.

This month, a lieutenant colonel facing a sexual assault trial in Europe successfully asked a military judge to instruct the jury to only convict if their vote was unanimous.

The Army is appealing that ruling, and the trial has been paused until the appeal is resolved.

If that appeal becomes precedent across the military justice system, the impacts would be significant. Some survivors of sexual assault opt to press charges via UCMJ rather than in civilian courts because they perceive that a court-martial panel’s ability to return a non-unanimous guilty verdict raises their chances of attaining justice.

Gause’s trial is tentatively scheduled for the week of May 9 at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

Davis Winkie is a senior reporter covering the Army. He focuses on investigations, personnel concerns and military justice. Davis, also a Guard veteran, was a finalist in the 2023 Livingston Awards for his work with The Texas Tribune investigating the National Guard's border missions. He studied history at Vanderbilt and UNC-Chapel Hill.

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