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Day one in Solis court-martial

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FORT SILL, Okla._A Ft. Sill Staff Sergeant assigned to the post's headquarters detachment is now being court-martialed for sexual assault.

The accused is SSG Jesse Solis Jr., and what makes this case unusual is that the alleged victims in this case are his two ex-wives. The first alleged assault happened in 2009, and the other in 2010 and both women took the stand on Tuesday. 

Solis is accused of raping his second wife back in 2010, but long before that, he threatened his first wife several times, even saying he would "kill her if she left him and he would use a sniper rifle." The two biggest witnesses Tuesday were his two former wives, and even though neither woman is still married to Solis, testimony proved that their memories of their former husband are still painful.

"How could the army have anyone like that?"

Those were the words that came from SSG Solis' first wife when she took the stand to tell the judge what happened between her and her husband nearly five years ago. She described years of abuse to the court, everything from slapping, hitting, being pushed against a wall and even threats of forced sex; but she says she only called police a handful of times. When asked why she didn't notify authorities of the severe threats being made to her, she replied, "well, it's my husband," and that he made her feel as though she deserved it. Perhaps the day's most emotional testimony of all came from Solis' second wife, who was brutally raped by him seven months before they were married.

With each painful and unmerciful detail, the woman became very upset reliving the ordeal. She told prosecutors that Solis made no reaction when he was confronted about it afterwards. But she said he did later admit that what he did was wrong, and that it would never happen again. When asked why she married him months after that night, she was only able to reply there were "several reasons why," before the question was objected and sustained in court.

Court adjourned around 4:00 Tuesday afternoon and will pick back up the next morning at Taylor Hall on post. If convicted, it's not clear what SSG Solis could face, but it could involve anything from dropping rank to being altogether dismissed from the U.S. Army, as well as prison time.

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