PFC faces sexual assault charge involving soldier found dead in Ft. Bliss

KTRK logo
Sunday, January 10, 2021
NC soldier found dead in Fort Bliss barracks on New Year's Eve
Army officials are investigating after a 19-year-old North Carolina native stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas was found dead in her barracks on New Year's Eve.

FORT BLISS, Texas -- A soldier stationed at a west Texas army post faces sexual assault charges involving a female soldier who was found dead in her barracks on New Year's Eve.

"On January 8, 2021, Maj. Gen. Sean C. Bernabe, 1st Armored Division commander, personally ordered the referral of charges against a Fort Bliss Private First Class to a general court-martial," Army officials said in a statement. "The referred charges include one specification alleging the sexual assault of Pfc. Asia M. Graham. A military judge will be detailed to the case to arraign the Soldier and docket a trial date."

Graham, 19, of Cherryville, N.C., had reportedly been seeking justice at the time of her death after she claimed another soldier had sexually assaulted her. The name of the soldier accused was not released.

Graham was found unresponsive in her barracks Dec. 31, but an official cause of death has not been released. Authorities later ruled out foul play.

RELATED: Foul play ruled out after soldier was found dead in Fort Bliss barracks

Asia's mother Nicole Graham spoke to WBTV about the incidents.

"Do I think she was murdered? No. But do I think if it would have been handled better from the beginning, I think she would have had the proper help before and she would have been OK," Nicole said.

According to army officials, Graham arrived at Fort Bliss in Dec. 2019 after finishing Basic Combat Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. She was assigned to I-501st Attack Battalion, 1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade.

Pfc. Asia M. Graham, 19, of Cherryville, N.C. was found unresponsive and was later pronounced dead by the fort's Department of Emergency Services.

Asia was a Human Resource Specialist who joined the Army in July 2019 from Charlotte. Fort Bliss was her first station.

The video above is from previous reporting.