Fort Jackson suspends soldier accused of raping woman he met on dating app
FORT JACKSON, S.C. (WIS) - A soldier stationed at Fort Jackson has been suspended from duties after being charged with a sex crime.
Staff Sgt. Kyle Jacob West was arrested April 24 in Richland County and charged with criminal sexual conduct, third degree, court records show.
West met the victim on the dating app Bumble and they made plans to go out to Five Points on April 14 around 5 p.m., an incident report from RCSD said.
During the course of the night, the victim told deputies she suspected West drugged one of her drinks because she said she threw up, could barely walk and felt dizzy as he drove her home.
The victim told deputies she does not remember letting West into her apartment or getting undressed, but she woke up to him on top of her naked.
While at Prisma Health Hospital the next morning, the victim told deputies West raped her, an incident report states.
She said she had woken up around 2 a.m. to all the lights on in her apartment, the door unlocked and West gone.
The victim went to the hospital for help and her case was assigned to the Special Victims Unit.
As she was making the police report, she told deputies West must have unmatched with her on Bumble or deleted his account because he was no longer showing up on her app.
West told the victim he was a Drill Sergeant at Fort Jackson.
Fort Jackson leadership said officials are aware of West’s arrest and they are cooperating with law enforcement.
“We take all allegations of misconduct seriously and, as a result, West has been suspended from his duties until the charges have been adjudicated,” Fort Jackson spokeswoman LA Sully said. “Sexual misconduct is not tolerated and is inconsistent with Army values and the Army profession.”
Criminal sexual conduct in the third degree is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
On April 25, a judge granted West a $10,000 personal recognizance bond and he has since been released from jail.
He’s due back in court on Friday, May 21.
West is assigned to 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment, at Fort Jackson, officials said.
This is the third arrest of a soldier or trainee stationed at Fort Jackson in little more than a month.
On April 14, Sgt. Jonathan Pentland was arrested and charged with assault of a man after a video went viral showing the confrontation.
Fort Jackson suspended him from duties the next day and said the case is being investigated by military authorities.
Then, on May 6, a soldier-in-training left base without authorization and hijacked a school bus full of children.
Jovan Collazo faces numerous charges, including 19 counts of kidnapping.
Thankfully, no one was hurt in that incident.
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