By Jon Herskovitz
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A U.S. Army soldier who ran a prostitution ring at Fort Hood, one of the largest Army bases in the country, was sentenced by a military judge in Texas on Thursday to two years in prison and given a dishonorable discharge, officials said.
Sergeant 1st Class Gregory McQueen pleaded guilty a day earlier to charges including conspiracy to solicit prostitution, adultery and dereliction of duty, the base, located in central Texas, said in a statement.
He could have faced up to about 40 years in prison, lawyers said. As part of the sentence, he was also demoted.
He accepted a plea deal under which several other charges were dropped, including abusive sexual contact.
A female soldier, who was not identified by name, said during testimony that McQueen approached her when she was a 20-year-old single mother struggling to pay her student loan bills, according to a report on TV station KWTX.
The witness said McQueen told her to take pictures of herself so he could connect her with high-ranking officers who would pay to have sex with her, according to the report.
The Fort Hood case was part of a spate of sex-related incidents in the U.S. military that has prompted Congress to look at ways to make top brass more accountable for the conduct of soldiers.
(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz and Lisa Maria Garza; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)