Air Force Col. Eugene Marcus Caughey, a 9/11 Pentagon survivor who was staring down a sentence of life in prison for rape, reportedly killed himself Sunday in his home.
Caughey, the former vice commander of the 51st Space Wing at Schriever Air Force Base, was scheduled for sentencing at an October 17 court-martial for charges of rape, assault and adultery, but according to Colorado Springs police, he never made it that far, The Gazette reports.
Had the trial gone through, it would’ve been a rare example of a senior officer being punished for sexual assault.
Colorado Springs police spokesman Sgt. Tim Stankey said that for now, “We are investigating it as a death of an undetermined origin. We are waiting on autopsy results from the coroner’s office.”
But police said they can at least rule out any foul play in 46-year-old Caughey’s death.
In December 2015, the Air Force slapped Caughey with a list of charges after a deep investigation turned up an allegation of rape and extramarital affairs. In other words, he allegedly had sex with four other women. Adultery is a crime in the military.
He apparently had forced a woman to give him oral sex and then also took a picture of her naked without her consent. He also reportedly groped two other women.
Ryan Coward, Caughey’s civilian lawyer, called the suicide a tragedy for the colonel’s family.
“I think Col. Caughey served honorably for more than 20 years, and what happened is very unfortunate,” he said. “His family is dealing with a lot and I would ask that folks respect their privacy as they deal with the loss.”
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