The Army has dropped charges in the case of an Army colonel accused of sexual assault, the Army’s III Armored Corps confirmed Monday.
Col. Jon Meredith, who was relieved as commander of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Cavazos, Texas, in October 2022, was formally charged earlier this year.
Meredith was accused of violating UCMJ Articles 120 and 133 — abusive sexual contact and conduct unbecoming of an officer, respectively — for alleged actions at Fort Cavazos, according to a copy of his charge sheet obtained by Army Times.
But last month, III Corps commander Lt. Gen. Sean Bernabe dropped Meredith’s charge of abusive sexual contact. Now, the charge for conduct unbecoming of an officer has also been dismissed.
“Based on newly discovered evidence, the III Armored Corps Commanding General withdrew and dismissed the criminal charges against Col. Jon Meredith,” III Corps spokesman Brian H. Harris told Military Times. “This decision was made in coordination and consultation with the Office of the Special Trial Counsel. It was based on an assessment of multiple factors which guide every commander in deciding the appropriate means of addressing allegations of misconduct.”
The decision came about due to evidence that emerged in a related Army Criminal Investigation Division probe, Harris said.
“The prosecution was not aware that this evidence contained any information relevant to the Meredith court-martial,” he added.
Sherilyn A. Bunn, Meredith’s attorney, told Task & Purpose that the defense found text messages between the alleged victim and her husband that showed the couple conspiring to make the assault accusation because the woman’s husband did not like an officer evaluation report from Meredith.
Harris said that, while criminal charges have been dropped, prior disciplinary action taken against Meredith stands.
“The newly discovered evidence was unrelated to the question of whether Col. Meredith engaged in conduct unbecoming an officer,” Harris said. “While Col. Meredith will no longer face a court-martial for conduct unbecoming an officer, there is still sufficient evidence to support the Commanding General taking appropriate administrative action on the misconduct.”
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.