March 2012

General Joseph Carter (Photo credit: National Guard)

Head of Massachusetts National Guard Faces Rape Allegation


Rodrique Ngowi
March 30, 2012


Gov. Deval Patrick has suspended the commander of the Massachusetts National Guard while the U.S. Army investigates allegations that he raped a subordinate in Florida nearly 30 years ago.

Patrick placed the Maj. Gen. Joseph Carter, the guard’s adjutant general, on paid leave immediately after Carter told him Thursday that the Army was investigating the rape allegation, Secretary of Public Safety Mary Beth Heffernan said Friday. Carter said he is cooperating with the investigation but denies the charge.

It was not immediately clear what prompted the investigation by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command. An Army spokesman did not immediately return calls for comment. A spokesman for the Criminal Investigation Command did not immediately respond to a call and an email asking whether there is new evidence to support the allegation and what triggered the inquiry now.

To read the full article at, click here.

Image courtesy Friends of Morganne McBeth

Stepmother of Slain Female Soldier Asks Court to Show Leniency


John Lasker
March 25, 2012


Spc. Nicholas Bailey, the second and final suspect charged in the 2010 stabbing death of Army paramedic Morganne McBeth, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter March 9 and later that day was sentenced to nine months in military prison and given a bad-conduct discharge.

Bailey, in a court-martial proceeding at Fort Bragg, N.C., admitted his guilt “as part of a plea deal,” a website of News 14 Carolina reported. He had faced a more severe charge of negligent homicide.

McBeth, a popular 19-year-old from Virginia, was in a tent on a military base in Iraq with Bailey and Spc. Tyler Cain when she was stabbed near the heart.

The case was detailed in a Truthdig article posted last Sept. 20. In that article, McBeth family members described the slain paratrooper as a vivacious young woman who loved to leap from military airplanes and who, as a display of patriotism, occasionally decorated her hair with strands of red, white and blue. They strongly criticized the way the Army investigated and prosecuted the case.

To continue reading this article at, click here.

Benguet Lass, Friend, Victims of Rape by Army Officer, Fail to Join Graduation Rites


Lyn V. Ramo
March 29, 2012


A girl in a remote  village high school in Mankayan, Philippines will not be able to attend her graduation rites.

“Isabel,” not her real name, 16, could have been in the graduating class of a Mankayan village high school because she had high grades in all subjects. She failed to take the final examinations in the last grading period because she lost her composure after she disappeared for four days in February.

Since then she has not been in a normal state of mind. She was pronounced as severely depressed by a doctor. The depression resulted in temporary amnesia, said the Innabuyog-Gabriela, a women’s organization in the Cordillera who is documenting cases of violations of women’s rights.

Isabel’s medico-legal certificate disclosed complete hymenal laceration, periannal laceration, which suggest that not just one person had raped her. The hospital that examined her also found that she has fungal infection.

To finish reading the article on the web site, click here.

March 28, 2012 is the last day to vote for Protect Our Defenders in the @DoGooder Video Awards. Winning will mean more resources to do the work that they do for our veterans.

Click here VOTE for Protect Our Defenders.

To visit the Protect Our Defenders web site, click here.

Military Rape Speech 18 by Congresswoman Jackie Speier



“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise again to highlight the epidemic of sexual assault and rape in the military.

Next week will mark the one-year anniversary of my first floor speech on this issue. That day I told the story of Technical Sergeant Mary Gallagher who was raped by a co-worker while deployed in Iraq. The week leading up to the rape, Sergeant Gallagher’s assailant harassed her, stalked her and attempted to break into her room. Though she twice reported the assailant’s threatening behavior, her command did nothing about it. They called it a, quote, “he said, she said scenario.”

Justice was not served.”

To read the full speech by Congresswoman Jackie Speier, click here.


 Are you a survivor of rape or sexual assault in the military? 

Congresswoman Speier is personally inviting you to share your story by e-mailing If you choose to share your experience with the Congresswoman, please indicate whether or not you are willing to give her your permission to share it on the House floor.

If you have experienced rape, sexual assault or harassment in military service, know that there are resources to help you. 


24/7 Emergency Crisis Care with offices in
Washington DC and Cambridge MA.
MRCC also has representatives in 35 states
as well as Japan, Germany and England.

Survivor Support Network:
Services, Resources, Hotlines, MST Forums, and Suggestions

Sexual Assault Support for the DoD Community

License to Rape: How Burma’s Military Employs Systematic Sexualized Violence


Phyu Phyu Sann and Akila Radhakrishnan
Guest Bloggers
Women Under Siege
March 15, 2012


Last week, a young woman from the Karen ethnic minority in Burma reported being “beaten, drugged, and sexually assaulted by two men wearing army fatigues.” In November 2011, reports emerged that four women were being kept as sex slaves by the Burmese military near the Kachin-China border; forced to cook and clean during the day and gang-raped at night by the soldiers in the Light Infantry Battalion 321. These reports, unfortunately, are not rare.

Such incidents are a part of a pattern of consistent and systematic sexualized violence perpetrated by the Burmese military, particularly against women in Burma’s ethnic groups. In a seminal 2002 report, the Shan Human Rights Foundation and the Shan Women’s Action Network found that there appears to be “a concerted strategy by the Burmese army troops to rape Shan women as a part of their anti-insurgency activities. The incidents detailed were committed by soldiers from 52 different battalions. Eighty-three percent of the rapes were committed by officers, usually in front of their own troops… .Out of the total 173 documented incidents, in only one case was a perpetrator punished by his commanding officer.”

Rape, has been, and is being used in Burma as a strategic weapon of war.

To read the complete posting at the Women Under Siege site, click here.

“Ask Her When She’s Sober”


Marty Kaplan
Huffington Post
March 26, 2012


Until Marine Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach and her unborn child were murdered by Marine Corporal Cesar Laurean and buried in his backyard, her congressman, Mike Turner, had a record like any other garden variety Republican warrior on women. With his 100 percent perfect opposition to women’s freedom of choice over their reproductive systems, Turner’s Dayton, Ohio-area constituents had been represented by just the kind of disciplined hard-core conservative that John Boehner and Eric Cantor rely on.

But Turner’s efforts to get Lauterbach’s murderer extradited from Mexico, where the dual national had fled, eventually brought him to do something that Boehner and Cantor despise. Before she was killed, Lauterbach had filed a claim at Camp Lejeune alleging that Lauren had raped her. That’s how Turner’s involvement with her murder — spurred by a request from her family — also became an education in the sexual violence plaguing the military, leading him to join with Massachusetts’s Democratic Rep. Nikki Tsongas to introduce legislation expanding rights and protections for service members who have been the victims of sexual assault.

Read the full article on the Huffington Post, here.

Next Page »