Maine National Guardsman Charged in Arizona on Sexual Assault
A member of the Maine National Guard is facing several charges stemming from an assault, while deployed near the southern border in Arizona. The 262nd Engineer Company has been assisting the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol at the U.S and Mexico border since October of 2020.
26-Year-old Bret Chapman of Walpole, ME faces multiple charges from an assault that took place in December of last year. Chapman is charged with kidnapping, one count of aggravated assault, and two counts of sexual abuse. Arizona's Cochise County deputy attorney, Michael Powell announced the charges on Friday afternoon.
Bret Chapman was arrested on August 27 and it is not clear if he has a public attorney. Chapman has not returned calls by multiple media outlets as he gets ready to begin the court process. The 262nd Engineer Company includes members from Aroostook County and is due to return to Maine sometime within the next 6-10 weeks.
There are some who are questioning why it took so long for Chapman to be arrested and formally charged, since the alleged assault took place in December. The Maine National Guard said that they are aware of the charges, but offered no other comments on the case. They are encouraging any of their soldiers to continue to come forward if they experience similar assaults. Maj. Carl Lamb said “sexual assault and all forms of harassment are repugnant and beyond unacceptable – they stand in start opposition to Army values and what it means to wear our nations uniform." Chapmans legal proceedings will take place in Arizona.