A sergeant in the Massachusetts Army National Guard has been accused of inappropriately touching a fellow soldier, according to a press release from the Vermont State Police.

Sgt. John Downing, 33, has been charged with lewd and lascivious conduct, according to the state police.

The incident allegedly took place June 22 at the Camp Ethan Allen Training Site in Jericho, Vermont, according to the police. Downing is accused of inappropriately touching the female soldier while both soldiers were standing in formation, police said.

Downing and the female soldier belong to the same unit, and Downing is described as one of the female soldier's supervisors, according to police.

The female soldier's name is being withheld because the Vermont State Police does not release the names of alleged victims of sexual assault or domestic violence.

The Massachusetts Guard on Tuesday confirmed that Downing is a member of the 1058th Transportation Company. The Guard also said Downing is a native of Hyannis, Massachusetts, who has served in uniform for four years. He has not deployed.

"The civilian charges against Sgt. John Downing are very serious," said Lt. Col. James Sahady, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Guard, in a statement. "Due to the civilian nature of the criminal allegation, the civilian justice system holds primary jurisdiction over this matter. Sgt. Downing will face criminal legal proceedings in the State of Vermont. Once the civilian criminal legal proceedings are complete, the Massachusetts National Guard can and will take appropriate action."

Sahady added that the allegations against Downing are "inconsistent with the values of the Massachusetts National Guard. We sympathize with the victim and are providing proper resources and assistance."

Downing was issued a citation to appear in court on Thursday.

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