(CNN) The two U.S. soldiers say they used physical force to drive home their message to the Afghan police commander who had been sexually abusing a boy.
“I picked him up, threw him to the ground multiple times and Charles did the same thing,” Dan Quinn, who was a U.S. Army captain at the time, told CNN. “We basically had to make sure that he fully understood that if he ever went near that boy or his mother again, there was going to be hell to pay.”
The actions of Quinn and the other soldier, Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland, against the American-backed police commander displeased their superiors in the U.S. military.
Quinn says he and Martland were relieved of their duties shortly afterward. Quinn has since left the military and Martland is now being involuntarily separated from the Army.
They had directly confronted a thorny issue for U.S. forces in Afghanistan: the subculture of bacha bazi, or “boy play,” in which young Afghans are used as sex slaves by grown men.
For U.S. service members in Afghanistan, the abuse of children is infuriatingly hard to stop, especially when it’s carried out by Afghan commanders allied with American-led forces.