Former Staff Sergeant Glen Edward Roberts, 51, was found guilty of mistreatment of soldiers.
The New Zealand Army close-quarters-combat instructor was found guilty of two charges of ill-treating a subordinate, which included grabbing and pulling a recruit’s genitals, grasping the genitals and striking another recruit in the eyes, according to Stuff.
Since the court marital SSG Roberts has filed an appeal. His lawyer, Major Steve Taylor, contends he often conducted close-quarter combat training in the past without being punished during testimony to Court Martial Appeal on Tuesday.
Taylorr raised questions about whether Roberts had “an honest belief” he was allowed to behave as he did.
Taylor said Roberts is “a very skilled and highly regarded instructor who has done the same thing for five years, taking these courses with countless recruits.”
“He’s trained them in the same way without any ill-treatment.”
Taylor argued that serious training scenarios were important to prepare recruits for the job.
“It’s ‘kill or be killed’ stuff that these young soldiers may well face.”
The incidents are said to have occurred at New Zealand’s Waiouru Military Camp between September 22 and October 24, 2014.
Roberts was demoted to Sergeant, given a severe reprimand, and barred from promotion for 12 months after the complaint was filed.
During the trial he admitted there was no way his behavior could have been an “accident.”
He faced thirteen charges, including ill-treating a person of lower rank, common assault, assault of a female and doing an act likely to prejudice service discipline, but was only found guilty of ten.
In July, Judge Heemi Taumaunu said Roberts was still a competent instructor with much to offer the army.
The court martial appeal hearing ended Tuesday afternoon but the Judges have yet to make a decision.
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