A platoon sergeant has been dismissed from the New Zealand army after he was found guilty of indecently assaulting a female soldier under his command.
Staff Sergeant Jeremy Leslie Boyd, of the Royal New Zealand Army Medical Corps, was found guilty before the Court Martial of New Zealand on Wednesday of indecent assault, and failing to comply with written orders contrary to the Armed Forces Discipline Act.
He was charged after a female subordinate accused him of groping her during a staff function at Burnham Military Camp near Christchurch.
Boyd denied the charges, but was found guilty after two days of testimony was heard.
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The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was Boyds subordinate when the alleged incidents took place.
She testified on Monday that Boyd made a sexually inappropriate remark to her while they were alone in a computer room in the military camp in 2015.
The complainant said this escalated to an assault on September 22, 2016, when Boyd approached her in a bar after a formal staff function, squeezed her breast for a few seconds, and then walked away.
The woman said she was angry at Boyds actions and approached him a few minutes later and used the back of her hand to hit him in the groin. She said Boyd winced and crouched over after she hit him.
According to the complainant, another incident happened in December 2018 when Boyd bought her a drink and congratulated her on a recent promotion.
He then said to her: This is my last chance to get you wasted, because her new rank was his cut-off.
During cross-examination, Boyds lawyer Elizabeth Bulger questioned the complainant about the veracity of her claims, asking her why no-one at the staff function saw Boyd grope her, nor saw when she punched him.
Boyd was charged with indecently assaulting a subordinate during a function at the Burnham Military Camp.
Bulger also said Boyds comment during the December 2018 had been taken out of context to sound sleazy and crass when he was merely providing her career advice.
After the victim reported the allegations, Boyd was transferred from Burnham to Linton Military Camp.
Second Lieutenant John Whitcombe, for the prosecution, said aggravating factors of the offending included Boyds abuse of his rank, and breach of the victims trust. He said while such an incident would be serious in any workplace, it was even more serious in the military context.
Bulger acknowledged the seriousness of the charges, but said Boyd had to be given significant credit for his excellent service record. She pointed out that Boyd had no notations on his disciplinary record, nor any civil criminal convictions.
After the victim reported the allegations, Boyd was transferred from the Burnham Military Camp. (File photo)
Boyd was an intelligent person who achieved considerable success in his career and had earned the respect of those who had worked with him, she said.
In his sentencing remarks, Judge Kevin Riordan said the court gave consideration to Boyds exemplary service record.
You have served very well. You have been recognised for that, you have been awarded for that. But that forms part of the reason why you enjoy respect.
If you abuse that respect, it is very hard to give the same level of respect to your achievements, since they were in fact a part of the circumstances under which you offended.
Judge Riordan said while the complainant was the clear victim of Boyds actions, military discipline was a second victim. Boyd had not only caused harm to the complainant, he said, but to the military community of which he was a part of.
The judge said it would not be realistic or tolerable to retain Boyds services in the NZDF.
The Court Martial decided it would serve no useful purpose to sentence Boyd to time in military prison.

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