Fort Bragg warrant officer convicted in sex offender case

Fort Bragg warrant officer convicted in sex offender case

This story was first published in The Fayetteville Observer.

FORT BRAGG — A former Fort Bragg soldier is now on North Carolina’s sex offender registry after being convicted at court-martial of sending inappropriate text messages to a 13-year-old girl, according to court files.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan Kyle Cunningham, 41, of Hope Mills, was listed on the Sex Offender Registry on April 1.

A jury of eight officers found him guilty in March of sexual abuse of a child involving indecent communication, making a false statement and wrongful interference with an administrative hearing.

Cunningham, in the Army since October 2003, served with the 18th Airborne Corps from June 10, 2018, to March 31.

A Corps spokesman said he is no longer assigned to the 18th Airborne Corps but remains in the Army awaiting an appeal.

According to an Army charge sheet, that has the names of the victim and witnesses redacted, in June 2020, Cunningham committed a “lewd act” on the girl by sending her a crude message and telling her she was “such a tease.”

The document states Cunningham told investigators he did not send the messages. Investigators said he also influenced the sworn statement of a witness in the case.

The victim’s stepmother said Cunningham was a former family friend, but as soon as the girl told her father about the messages, the family reported it to the authorities. The woman’s name is being withheld to protect the child’s identity.

“It’s not appropriate for a (teenage) girl to receive private messages like that,” the stepmother said. “This has been very hard on our daughter because she looked up to him. He preyed on her, knowing she was vulnerable.”

The stepmother said the family wants to see Cunningham’s conviction upheld so that he will “no longer represent the Army.”

She said her stepdaughter does not want to return to the area and is having a difficult time.

“I think there’s some relief that justice was served and someone was in her corner,” the woman said. “Even though court was difficult for her, she knew it was the right thing, and this will hopefully prevent anything else from happening again. She told her story. She told her truth, and justice prevailed.”

Following the verdict, the stepmother said she and her husband embraced her stepdaughter and cried.

“My husband was a key witness, and had confronted (Cunningham) about it,” the woman said. “He was protecting his daughter, and that’s something he will always continue to do. You have to trust your gut as parents when your child tells you something.”



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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.