KEY POINTS

  • Pfc. Asia Graham was found dead in her barracks at Fort Bliss on New Year's Eve
  • A Fort Bliss soldier accused of sexually assaulting her will be arraigned and formally charged before a military judge next week
  • Graham first reported the sexual assault at Fort Bliss on June 1, 2020

A Fort Bliss soldier accused of sexually assaulting Pfc. Asia Graham, who was found dead on New Year's Eve in her barracks, will be court-martialed.

According to Fort Bliss officials, charges were preferred against the soldier on Oct 22, 2020, which includes sexual assault on Graham, reported CNN. The identity of the accused, who is also a private first class, has not been released.

The soldier was notified late Friday that he would be arraigned and formally charged before a military judge next week, said Fort Bliss spokeswoman Lt. Col. Allie Payne in a statement as per The Charlotte Observer. At the public arraignment, the judge will also schedule a date for a military trial.

Graham, 19, was a Human Resource Specialist from Cherryville, North Carolina who joined the U.S. Army in July 2019. Fort Bliss was her first duty station.

She first reported the sexual assault at Fort Bliss on June 1, 2020. She said the assault occurred in December 2019. In Oct. 2020, investigators found probable cause that a fellow soldier had sexually assaulted Graham. On Dec. 1, a top commander concurred with the findings, said Payne. More information will be available at the time of arraignment.

Following Graham's report last June, the base command began an investigation and put in place a military protective order, making sure that she and the accused soldier were not living in the same building or working in the same areas, the statement also said.

Graham was later found dead on Dec. 31, 2020. Special agents for the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command do not suspect foul play in her death.

Meanwhile, Graham's family earlier told media that the military leadership had failed her. "I was with the military life. I spoke very highly about the military," her mother, Nicole Graham, told WBTV

According to Nicole, she was informed that her daughter had died of asphyxiation.

In a similar incident, a private first class from Fort Hood, Texas, was found dead last year. The remains of Vanessa Guillén, who was reported missing in April 2020, were discovered by volunteers from Texas EquuSearch in June.

Army Specialist Aaron Robinson, the primary suspect in the case, killed himself when confronted by the police. His girlfriend, Cecily Aguilar, was chard with one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence for helping Robinson mutilate and hide the victim's body.

Fort Bliss The Fort Bliss Army base in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Bobbie DeHerrera/Getty Images