Meier went to trial, and this week a jury found him not guilty of the charges.
by Nick Beres
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. -- A decorated Ft. Campbell soldier suddenly
pulled from the front lines in Afghanistan and accused of a horrible crime
fought to clear his name, and he succeeded.
"When I joined the Army, I wanted to fight for my country," said
Vance Meier, a soldier with the Third Brigade Combat Team. So Meier was
stunned when military police pulled him from his unit and brought him in for
questioning in Afghanistan.
Meier was questioned over allegations from the two children of friends he
had lived with back in Clarksville. They claimed he raped them.
"I was blown away. My main thing was, ‘Why would they say this about
me?'" said Meier.
His attorney, Carrie Gasaway, said the charges were unfounded.
"Just out of the blue, here comes this allegation, and it made no
sense," said Gasaway. And she was furious military investigators
questioned her client overseas even though he asked for an attorney.
"In my opinion the CID officer who interrogated him violated his
constitutional rights," said Gasaway.
Meier returned home to face charges. If convicted, he faced up to 50
years in prison. But he refused the prosecution's offer of a plea deal,
if he'd admit his guilt.
"I was not going to admit something I didn't do," said Meier.
"And even if I had worked a deal to stay out of prison, my military career
-- which I love -- would have been over."
Meier went to trial, and this week a jury found him not guilty of the
charges. He cleared his name and much more.
"To me it's not only about me, but it's the reputation of the Army and
my unit," said Meier.
Meier is now back on active duty, and he plans to rejoin his unit before the
end of the year in Afghanistan.