Army's Lead Sex Assault Lawyer Accused of Assault

Woman says Jay Morse groped her at 2011 sex assault conference

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 7, 2014 1:37 AM CST

(Newser) – The Army's top prosecutor for sexual assault cases has been removed from his post after being accused of sexually assaulting a lawyer—at a conference on sexual assault. Joseph "Jay" Morse was suspended last month after the lawyer reported that he tried to "kiss and grope her against her will" in a hotel room during the 2011 conference, sources tell Stars and Stripes. Morse, who supervised around two dozen prosecutors as chief of the Trial Counsel Assistance Program, was also the chief prosecutor in the case of Robert Bales, who pleaded guilty to massacring 16 Afghan civilians.

"We can confirm that this matter is currently under investigation and that the individual in question has been suspended from duties," an Army official tells the Guardian, which notes that Morse is the third military official tasked with handling sexual assault cases to be accused of assault over the last year. Almost 600 other soldiers were removed from "positions of trust" after a review that followed a spike in sexual assault cases.

Military prosecutor   US Army Lt. Col.  Jay Morse waits to speak to a class at the SMU Dedman School of Law in Dallas last fall.
Military prosecutor US Army Lt. Col. Jay Morse waits to speak to a class at the SMU Dedman School of Law in Dallas last fall.   (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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