SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A Sacramento woman is behind bars, accused of deserting the army during boot camp.
She claims she left the military for good reason, after allegedly being assaulted by a superior, and she says she had no idea she was committing a crime when she took off.
“I had no clue. I wouldn’t have done it this way,” said Quintera King.
Twelve years after walking out on basic training, the once army hopeful is now sitting behind bars, never knowing she had been deemed an army deserter.
“I deserted them? Well, I mean they deserted me by not helping me in my time of crisis,” said King.
The 32-year-old was arrested last Friday, pulled over by Sacramento Police for a missing license plate. Officers found an outstanding warrant.
“He came back and was like have you ever been in the army? I’m like oh wow.”
King, who’s never had a criminal record, says she joined the army in 2005 and was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, but during boot camp, she says she was physically assaulted by a sergeant major.
“He put his hands on me, pinned me up, tried to choke me and told me he was tired of me.”
King claims she filed a complaint with military police and tried to get help from military lawyers, but no one was willing to help her, so she left.
“I wasn’t running. I’ve been in school, I’ve applied for government grants and everything and nothing has come up.”
According to the Army Deserter Information Point, because King was a trainee when she went AWOL, she’ll likely be sent to a base in Missouri where she’ll be housed, fed and paid until she’s processed out with a general discharge. It’s unclear if she’ll face any fines or penalties.
“I can’t sleep, I can’t eat,” said King, “I just want to put it all behind me.”
Army officials say there are already plans in the works for King to be transferred out of the jail sometime next week. As for the alleged assault she experienced, the army says that information was not available in time for our news piece.