Army Staff Sgt. Randall Hughes Exposed as Serial Rapist Who Assaulted His Own Daughter: Report

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Randall Hughes was sentenced to 13 years in prison for a series of rapes.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Randall Hughes was sentenced to 13 years in prison for a series of rapes.U.S. Army

Army Staff Sgt. Randall Hughes pleaded guilty to a series of rapes and sexually assaulting his teenage daughter, who reported it to military officials.

An Army staff sergeant who received only a reprimand for raping the wife of a soldier under his command in 2017 has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for a series of sexual assaults that included his own teenage daughter.

Randall S. Hughes was sentenced March 30 and was dishonorably discharged, the Army Times reported this week. 

U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Command officials ultimately reviewed allegations covering more than 10 years and involving five victims, the news outlet reported. Hughes, as part of a plea deal, pleaded guilty to two counts of rape, two counts of sexual assault consummated by battery, one count of sexual abuse of a child, one count of assault consummated by a battery on a child, one count of indecent language and one count of adultery.

Some victims spoke directly to the Army Times, including Hughes' daughter, and specifically asked that their names be used to drive home the point that Hughes had been assaulting women for years, they said.

A Party Turns Violent After Randall S. Hughes Attacks His Soldier's Wife 

Leah Ramirez reported to the Army’s CID that Hughes raped her during a Super Bowl party at her home near Fort Bliss, Texas. Her husband had passed out after doing shots of whiskey with Hughes, his superior, the news outlet said.

After she got her husband to bed, and their guests had left, Hughes asked her for sex, she said, and when she refused he attacked her.

“I waited until the morning and then I went to the hospital to get checked,” she told the Army Times. “It took CID 48 hours to get into my house for evidence, so I lived in the crime scene for 48 hours. And then, it took three years to do anything.”

After a yearlong investigation, Ramirez said she was told there was credible evidence against Hughes, but he would not be prosecuted, she told the Army Times. Instead, Hughes received an Officer Memorandum of Reprimand in his personnel file, according to the report.

“I was told CID had enough evidence to believe it happened, and Fort Bliss still didn’t do anything,” Ramirez told the Army Times. “They just told me the command said this is what it was — this is how it is.”

After a Slap on the Wrist in the Attack of a Fellow Soldier's Wife, Randall S. Hughes Turns On His Own Daughter

A few months later, Hughes raped his then-girlfriend, according to court documents cited in the report. That attack was the second rape to which he pleaded guilty as part of his plea deal, the outlet said.

After Hughes transferred to Fort Dix in New Jersey, his teenage daughter came to live with him, the girl and her mother told the Army Times.

On March 25, 2020, Hughes gave his daughter sleeping medication and raped her, according to court documents, the outlet reported. As part of his plea agreement, he did not admit to that charge, but he did admit to sexual abuse and assault of a child.

“He was taking a plea deal, so he wanted to plead to get the minimum amount of years,” said daughter Lesley Madsen, now 17, who asked, with her mother’s approval, to be named in Army Times article. “If I said no, then it would have been years of court. … It was the easiest way to give everyone that closure and just put him away before he did anything to anybody else," she said.

“I’m not ashamed of what he did to me,” she said. “I want people to know I’m a minor and I want them to know that I’m a daughter.”

Fort Dix investigators launched an investigation after finding Hughes' written reprimand in his files, the Army Times reported.

The Case of Randall S. Hughes Comes Amid a Host of Scrutiny the Military Faces in Its Handling of Sexual Assaults

The case comes to light as Congress considers efforts to remove investigations of military sexual assaults from the chain of command and instead assign them to independent civilian panels.

Military officials have promised to revamp treatment of assault cases, spurred by cases such as the assault and murder of Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillén, who was beaten to death by a fellow soldier in 2020 after telling her family she had been sexually harassed on base.

On Monday, President Joe Biden announced he nominated Christine Wormuth to be secretary of the Army. If confirmed by the Senate, Wormuth, who previously served the Pentagon's top policy official during the Obama administration, would become the first woman to hold that position.

In a statement to the Army Times, the military expressed sympathy for those assaulted by Hughes. 

“Our hearts go out to these victims, and we are thankful there was enough evidence to prosecute him, convict him of serious offenses and sentence him to a lengthy period of confinement,” said Michael Brady, the Army’s principal deputy chief of public affairs.

“While the Privacy Act precludes us from commenting on specific cases, it’s important to note that a probable cause finding is not a final determination there is sufficient evidence to prosecute,” Brady replied in response to questions about why Hughes only received a reprimand after Ramirez’s assault.