Navy Commander Charged with Sexual Assault While Traveling in India

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A naval aviator attached to the command overseeing manpower readiness for the Navy faces court-martial on charges he sexually assaulted a woman in 2019.

Cmdr. Edward Forrest Hill, a 16-year officer, was in or near Bangalore, India, at the time of the alleged assault, according to a charge sheet obtained by Military.com. It's not clear whether he was traveling for work or if he was off-duty.

Hill, who was assigned to Chief of Naval Personnel Support out of Arlington, Virginia, allegedly committed a number of nonconsensual sexual acts upon a woman whose name is redacted in the report, including penetrating her with his finger and forcing oral sex. The alleged incident happened Aug. 4, 2019; Hill was charged Oct. 28, 2020.

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He's set to appear in court at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., on May 20 for a motions hearing on the sexual assault charge. Hill's appointed military defense attorney, Lt. Cmdr. Andrea Kissner, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the case.

According to career information obtained by Military.com, Hill is a U.S. Naval Academy graduate who was commissioned in 2002. He has served at numerous helicopter aviation and test commands and graduated from Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland, in 2012. His most recent aviation unit was Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35, out of North Island, Calif., which flies MH-60R Seahawks.

Prior to joining Chief of Naval Personnel Support in 2018, Hill completed a tour in the Legislative Fellows Program in Washington, D.C.

A published biography from that tour adds that he previously served as a squadron department head "who was responsible for the integration of manned and unmanned aircraft onboard littoral combat ship [and] an experimental test pilot who has deployed numerous times and has logged over 2,000 hours in 29 different aircraft."

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

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