Commandant at Army War College Reinstated, Cleared of Sexual Assault Allegations

The Army has reinstated Maj. Gen. Stephen Maranian as commandant of the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania after an investigation found no substantial evidence to bring charges against him in relation to the sexual assault allegations lodged against him in February, reports military.com.

Maj. Gen. Stephen Maranian

Maranian was suspended on Feb. 9 after allegations that he had “inappropriately touched” an Army civilian employee. An investigation by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command (CID) immediately ensued, being led by a civilian investigator who has conducted more than 700 sexual assault investigations in the past 18 years.

According to the army, 16 witnesses were interviewed, some on multiple occasions, before the team turned the case to an independent special victim prosecutor and a civilian prosecutor with 30 years of experience, both of whom determined there was no sufficient evidence.

Last week, the Army announced those findings, writing in a press release that “the decision regarding probable cause was completely independent of any command influence and was not presented to any commander for a disposition decision.”

That comment is notable given the investigation happened amid increased demand that commanders be removed from the process of deciding whether to prosecute sexual assault and harassment cases. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., has been leading the charge by pushing a military justice reform bill that was approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee last week. The bill proposes that such cases be handled by criminal justice attorneys rather than commanders who may lack legal training.

In light of the recent ruling, Maranian, who is 54, has been immediately reinstated as commandant. Appointed to the role at the Army War College in July 2020, Maranian previously served as deputy commander of education at the Army’s Combined Arms Center and as the provost at Army University. Typically, commandants in Maranian’s role are in the post for two to three-year terms at Carlisle Barracks, which serves as a college focused on teaching strategy to senior officers.