West Point Officer Arraigned on Charges of Drinking with Cadets, Violating No-Contact Orders for Women's Tennis Team

Parade Day at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point
In this May 22, 2019 photo members of the senior class march past a statue of George Washington during Parade Day at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

A top West Point officer is facing a series of charges related to sexual misconduct, providing and drinking alcohol with cadets, violating no-contact orders with an entire women's sports team at the academy, and soliciting cadets and another officer to lie on his behalf amid an investigation into his conduct.

Col. William Wright, the director of the U.S. Military Academy's geospatial information science program, was arraigned on nine allegations Tuesday, according to court records reviewed by Military.com. He was also reassigned to a role at the academy where he does not have contact with cadets, according to an academy spokesperson.

"West Point holds our staff and faculty to high standards," Col. Terence Kelley, an academy spokesperson, said in a statement to Military.com. "Upon allegations that our cadre have not upheld our standards, we promptly investigate to determine the facts, protect, and assist potential victims, and hold alleged violators accountable."

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Wright could not be reached for comment ahead of publication. It was unclear if he had hired an attorney.

Wright, an armor officer, faces one charge of conduct unbecoming an officer for allegedly on "one or more occasions" making sexual remarks referring to the "G-spot or words to that effect" with at least three cadets in January.

    He faces three charges of disobeying a direct order when he allegedly provided alcohol to at least one cadet and drank with them. He allegedly provided or consumed alcohol with a cadet in June last year. It's unclear if it was the same cadet.

    Wright was ordered to stay away from and not contact cadets on the West Point women's tennis team, but allegedly violated that order in January when he contacted a cadet. It's unclear what the nature of that contact was or when the no-contact order was put into place.

    Finally, Wright faces five charges related to lying and soliciting others to do so on his behalf during an investigation into the allegations he was drinking with cadets or providing them alcohol.

    In January, Wright allegedly solicited a cadet to "wrongfully interfere with an adverse administrative proceeding," instructing her to "kill this," directing her to talk with an official whose name is redacted from court documents. He also instructed a cadet to "testify falsely" concerning her alcohol consumption to an investigating officer.

    It's unclear if the incidents involve one or several cadets. The names of cadets were redacted.

    Wright is at least the third high-profile West Point official in less than a year to be fired or face misconduct allegations.

    Col. Anthony Bianchi, at the time the garrison commander, was fired in August for "loss of trust and confidence in his ability to command," a spokesperson said at the time -- a blanket and nonspecific statement that can cover a wide variety of issues, including major lapses in judgment, drug abuse, incompetence, criminal action, sexual harassment or abuse of subordinates.

    In November, a West Point civilian staffer, William Gentry, the school's deputy brigade tactical officer, was arraigned on a felony criminal sexual conduct charge.

    Gentry pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of "accosting a child for immoral purposes," which involves soliciting a minor for sexual purposes, court documents show. He was sentenced in May to five years on probation and being a registered sex offender for 25 years.

    Wright's arraignment comes immediately off the heels of the former top officer of Ohio State University's Reserve Officers' Training Corps program, Lt. Col. Michael Kelvington, being fired amid allegations of sexual misconduct involving at least three cadets. However, Kelvington faces no criminal charges.

    Related: 'A Betrayal': How a Decorated Army Officer Fell from Grace in a University ROTC Sex Scandal

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