Travis King update: Pvt. who crossed into N. Korea charged with desertion, child porn, sources say

Travis King charges also include assault

ByJolie Lash ABCNews logo
Friday, October 20, 2023
Soldier who crossed into North Korea facing charges: source
Pvt. Travis King, who crossed the border into North Korea, is now facing desertion and child porn charges.

WASHINGTON -- Army Pvt. Travis King, who crossed the border into North Korea before being returned to the U.S. in September, has been charged with desertion, according to military charging documents a source close to the case shared with ABC News Thursday night.

In addition to desertion for crossing over into North Korea, where he was detained for two months, King faces seven additional charges, including possessing child pornography and multiple assaults, according to the documents. A defense official confirmed the desertion and assault charges to ABC News, while another said reports on the charges were correct. Reuters was first to break the news of the desertion, child pornography and assault charges.

A spokesperson for the First Armored Division, King's unit, was not available for comment late Thursday night, but the documents say King was informed of the charges on Wednesday.

SEE MORE: Travis King back in US custody months after crossing into North Korea

Claudine Gates, Pvt. King's mother, issued a statement in support of her son, asking for him to be be presumed innocent.

"I love my son unconditionally and am extremely concerned about his mental health. As his mother, I ask that my son be afforded the presumption of innocence," she said in her statement. "The man I raised, the man I dropped off at boot camp, the man who spent the holidays with me before deploying did not drink. A mother knows her son, and I believe something happened to mine while he was deployed. The Army promised to investigate what happened at Camp Humphries, and I await the results."

King has been assigned two JAG officers as council, and he will also be represented by attorneys Sherilyn A. Bunn and Joshua Grumbaugh, and professor Franklin D. Rosenblatt, ABC has learned.

"I am grateful for the extraordinary legal team representing my son, and I look forward to my son having his day in court," her statement concluded.