Command sergeant major accused of desertion while CID investigated him for sexual assault

Former Command Sgt. Major Clinton Murray speaking at a change of responsibility ceremony for 3rd Squadron, 73rd Cavalry, in 2016 on Fort Bragg, North Carolina. (Sgt. Chad Haling)

A former command sergeant major has been accused of a laundry list of crimes- including sexual assault.

Master Sergeant Clinton Murray faces desertion, obstruction of justice, sexual assault and other charges after it was discovered he asked an officer to destroy evidence ahead of his first court-martial, which resulted in him being acquitted of sexually assaulting a private first class.

The desertion charges involve the forging of paperwork, which allowed him to leave the US Army while a CID investigation was under way.

According to the Army Times, Murray was convicted of an inappropriate relationship with the private in his first court-martial, resulting in a reduction of rank and being relieved of command.

The court documents became public after Murray sued the Army for revoking his retirement orders in 2020.

“We look forward to representing our client at his court-martial. He’s pled not guilty,” said John Hafemann, Murray’s lead defense attorney. “We can’t discuss the specifics of the case.”

In 2017, Murray was serving as the CSM for 3rd Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division and was deployed to Afghanistan with the division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team.

During this time, Murray was accused of having inappropriate relationships with two Soldiers in the unit, including the PFC who claimed to have been sexually assaulted.

The initial charges led to a 4-day court-martial in January of 2020.

An officer eventually stepped forward after the court-martial, admitting to a extramarital relationship with Murray and even assisting in destroying evidence that would have led to a guilty conviction.

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