Band of Brothers: Sex crimes and cover-up in the 101st Airborne Division

Private Brandon Queen was advised to carry a knife with him at all times by his team leader, knowing that their squad leader favored young, pre-pubescent-looking soldiers. “Once the sun goes down, who knows where Santoro is and where Queen is. Something could happen in the corner of the FOB,” his team leader told SOFREP.

At Forward Operating Base (FOB) Kushamond in Paktika Province, Afghanistan, a rogue soldier stalked the men of 1st Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, a part of the 101st Airborne Division.

Staff Sergeant Johnny Santoro was a predator, Queen was told, and he had to take precautions. “Everybody knew he was gay and everyone was scared of him. Basically, he used intimidation and rank [to get what he wanted],” Queen said. After dealing with months of groping, stalking, and harassment, Santoro attempted to forcibly pull down Queen’s pants to perform oral sex on him. Queen removed himself from the situation, and multiple members of the platoon heard Queen running away at a high rate of speed in the dead of night.

John Santoro was asked to comment on this article but declined to respond.

In the unit famously known as the Band of Brothers and renowned for their military actions waged against the Nazis during World War II, Sergeant Santoro perpetrated a string of sexual assaults in a cultivated environment of fear and manipulation. Those assaults were both ignored and then covered up by the 1/506th chain of command. Several members of the platoon compared their unit’s handling of Sergeant Santoro to how the Catholic Church has attempted to cover for pedophile priests.

“Right when I got there I started hearing rumors about this squad leader who they think is gay and very forceful on certain people,” Sergeant Joe Barnes said of meeting up with his platoon in Afghanistan. “I started hearing from other lower enlisted guys that they would get drunk with this guy and then he would offer to suck their dick. Like, you don’t have to do anything, I’ll just suck you off.”...


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