Fort Polk, La., was officially renamed Fort Johnson in a ceremony at the Army base on June 13, 2023. (U.S. Army )
Five Fort Johnson soldiers charged last year with raping two women will now be tried in military court and face new charges for an additional sexual assault that occurred on the Army base two months earlier, according to service officials.
Spc. John Paul Bianzon, 29, Pfc. Franz Robert Camentil, 20, Pfc. Ajjashery Jalnaiz Flores, 24, Spc. Cyrus Moises Ranada Labial, 24, and Pfc. Frinz Deivhid Ramit, 19, were originally arrested Nov. 30 in Vernon Parish, outside the gates of Fort Johnson, of first-degree rape, according to the parish sheriff’s office.
The five soldiers are now also charged in a sexual assault that happened at Fort Johnson in September 2022, according to base officials. The soldiers face courts-martial in the sexual assault of one woman on Sept. 24 at the Army post, and two roommates assaulted Nov. 25 at a home in Rosepine, La.
All the soldiers are infantrymen assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division, which is based at Fort Johnson, and have pleaded not guilty, according to the base and the Army’s online court docket.
Authorities for Vernon Parish agreed April 5 to transfer control of the cases from the November incident to the Army.
“The transfer will allow the Army to seek justice for the allegations that occurred off-post in Vernon Parish and additional alleged sexual crimes committed by the five soldiers on the military installation in September of 2022,” according to a statement from the base.
However, some of the charges for each of the soldiers have changed since Army prosecutors took the cases.
Excluding Flores, the Army charged each soldier with two counts of conspiring together — one for each sexual assault, according to charge sheets. Flores is charged with one count of conspiracy, though the redacted charge sheet does not state on which incident the charge is based.
They all face two counts of sexual assault for the September incident, and all but Flores face the same charge for the November assault. Labial is additionally charged with two counts of rape by administering a drug, intoxicant or similar substance without the women’s knowledge in both incidents.
Labial also faces two counts of other sexual misconduct for taking photographs of the woman in the September assault and then sending them without consent. Ramit is accused of making and distributing a recording during the same incident, according to his charge sheet.
Flores is charged with two counts of recording and distributing in the November assault, and Camentil is charged with two counts for photographs during the same incident, according to their charge sheets.
All the soldiers are in pretrial confinement except for Flores, who was released by a military judge following a request from Flores’ attorney, according to court documents. It was not clear why he was released.
Ramit will face a jury on Nov. 27 at Fort Johnson, followed by Labial on Dec. 18, then Camentil and Bianzon in 2024. A trial date has not been set for Flores.
Few details about the September assault on post are included in the charge sheets for the soldiers. Fort Johnson officials declined to say when the September assault was reported to law enforcement because it is part of the ongoing investigation.
The two female roommates told police that the soldiers came to their home the night of Nov. 25 and brought alcohol that the women drank, according to the sheriff’s office. Both said soon after that they began to feel unwell, and the effects of the alcohol seemed exaggerated.
Forensic testing showed the women had suffered injuries consistent with sexual assault, the sheriff’s office said.