Army recruiter in Florida charged with rape
15 May 2005

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - A U.S. Army recruiter accused of raping a woman who was interested in joining the military remained in the Alachua County Jail on $50,000 bond Saturday.

Thursday's arrest of Staff Sgt. George O. Kirkman, 40, came a day before the Army suspended recruiting efforts after reported excesses by recruiters trying to sign up soldiers.

Kirkman has been suspended pending the outcome of the criminal investigation, said Ted Jones, spokesman for the Jacksonville Army Recruiting Battalion. He may be transferred to the Army's custody on Monday. It could not be determined if he had a lawyer.

According to Gainesville police Detective Joe Mayo, the 20-year-old woman said she had gone to Kirkman's apartment Thursday to take a recruiting exam on a computer. The two were reviewing the woman's test scores and sitting on Kirkman's bed when he raped her, according to an arrest report.

Mayo said police have no information of other allegations against Kirkman. But police said they learned Kirkman brought other applicants to his home, a violation of Army policy.

Kirkman started at the Gainesville recruiting station in February 2004, Jones said. Mayo also said Kirkman was about to end his recruiting tour and go back to another job with the military.

Friday's "stand-down" order from the Army came so commanders could emphasize ethical conduct and "refocus our entire force on who we are as an institution," said Maj. Gen. Michael D. Rochelle, the chief of Army recruiting.

According to reports, a recruiter in Houston threatened a potential recruit with arrest if he backed out of enlisting. Recruiters do not have that authority. Also, recruiters in Colorado allegedly offered information on fake diplomas and ways to get around drug tests and physical fitness requirements.