The Courier-Mail

Female soldier guilty of groping

- CRAIG DUNLOP

A FEMALE soldier drank a bottle of Wild Turkey bourbon before kicking on to a bar in Townsville, where she fondled men’s genitalia and grabbed another on the buttocks in attempts to seduce them.

Hannah Paige Hite, 24, faced the Defence Force Magistrate­s Court in Canberra yesterday where she pleaded guilty to three counts of indecency and one count of assault in a public place.

Hite (inset), who was a private at the time, but who was sacked from the army in December, admitted that she shoved her hands down the pants of two men and fondled their genitalia.

She further admitted to touching a third man on the testicles, outside his pants, and to assaulting a fourth man by grabbing his buttocks and “licking his neck from his shoulder to his ear” in a failed attempt to seduce him.

Defence Force Magistrate Group Captain Scott Geeves described Hite’s conduct as “shameful” and said she was now old enough that “most people will expect you to behave like an adult”.

Hite admitted that she was slurring her words and unsteady on her feet even before she and some mates went out to Cactus Jack’s Saloon in July last year.

Military prosecutor Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Fielden said that none of the men had expressed any sexual interest in Hite, and that her short-lived career in the army had been marked by two alcohol-related disciplina­ry conviction­s for failing to obey orders, and a civilian high-range drink-driving conviction.

Group Captain Geeves convicted Hite, but took no further action.

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