Pfc. Asia Graham enlisted in the Army right out of high school to follow in her father’s footsteps. Her mother Nicole Graham says he served for 23 years. After his death, Asia wanted to take care of her mother.

Asia was “full of pride and excitement” at basic training, according to Nicole Graham. But her mood changed dramatically about a month after she arrived at Fort Bliss in December 2019.

“She begged her brother to come live with her. She didn’t want to be alone,” said Nicole Graham. 

After he moved to El Paso in early 2020, his sister confided in him that she had been sexually assaulted. 

Fort Bliss began a criminal investigation into the abuse on June 1, 2020.

According to the Army, the investigation happened “immediately” after Graham reported she was sexually assaulted by fellow soldier Pfc. Christian Alvarado. But her brother says Graham first reported the sexual assault in February.

There are questions about what happened after the sexual assault was reported. Graham had moved into an El Paso apartment with brother but was ordered back to the barracks.

She was found dead in her barracks room on New Year’s Eve, almost exactly a year after she was sexually assaulted.

Listen to Angela Kocherga’s audio story, which aired first on El Paso public radio station KTEP, and hear firsthand from Asia Graham’s family.

Angela Kocherga is multimedia editor for El Paso Matters. She has dedicated her career as a journalist to reporting stories on both sides of the border for readers, viewers and public radio listeners....