Betrayal of Trust?
Allegations of Rape at
West Point, Annapolis

 

Kyra Phillips and Jessi Joseph
CNN.com
April 22, 2012

 

Karley Marquet and Annie Kendzior said they enrolled at two of the nation’s most prestigious military academies to serve their country and become military officers. Instead, they claim, they were raped — and their military careers are now over.

In a lawsuit filed in U.S. Federal Court on Friday, the women claim the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, and the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, ignored “rampant sexual harassment.”

The suit claims former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, the former superintendents of the two academies and the current secretaries of the Army and Navy are “personally responsible” for failing to “prevent rapes and sexual assaults at the Naval Academy and West Point.”

Karley Marquet was a high school honor student, championship swimmer and all-star rugby player. She could have gone to college anywhere with her credentials, but Marquet chose West Point.

“When I was accepted, it was kind of overwhelming,” she says. “You can’t imagine having that structure and discipline but at the same time having people look at you like, ‘Wow, you’re doing something great for our country.'”

But Marquet said her dream of becoming an officer was shattered in January 2011, her second semester at West Point.

To read the full story at CNN.com, click here.

 

To read the lawsuit filed against West Point and the Naval Academy on behalf of Karley Marquet and Annie Kendzior, click here.

If you were raped or sexually assaulted while on active duty in 2002 or later, you may be able to join the ongoing litigation efforts supported by Protect Our Defenders, the Service Women’s Action Network, and others. Please contact the Burke PLLC paralegal Miranda Petersen at mpetersen@burkepllc.com for more information.

 

Additional Reporting:

Protect Our Defenders Supports Lawsuit Against US Military For Failure to Protect Cadets at Service Academies from Rape or Sexual Assault

Two MORE Female U.S Service Members Claim They Were Raped at Military Academies Then Punished for Reporting the Assaults, MailOnline, April 21, 2012

Women Sue West Point and Naval Academy for Being Awful to Rape Victims, Jezebel, April 21, 2012

Former Mid Sues Naval Academy Over Rapes, Baltimore Sun, April 20, 2012

Former Mid Files Federal Lawsuit Over Alleged Rape, hometownannapolis.com, April 20, 2012

2 Sue Service Academies Over Assault Response, ArmyTimes, April 20, 2012

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Rep Jackie Speier Discusses Military Rape on CNN

 

Kyra Phillips
CNN

March 9, 2012

 

For additional information:

Rep. Jackie Speier | Rape and Sexual Assault in the Military

Speier Critical Over Military’s Handling of Rape,   KGO-TV,  March 7, 2012

 

“H.R. 3435, the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act – or STOP Act which would take the reporting, oversight, investigation and victim care of sexual assaults out of the hands of the military’s normal chain of command and place jurisdiction in the newly created, autonomous Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office comprised of civilian and military experts.” (Rep. Jackie Speier)

 

To see the current status of “The STOP Act” click the link below:

STOP Act Summary

The Stop Act: The Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act (H.R. 3435)

Military Sexual Assault Litigation News Conference

 

Burke PLLC
C-Span
March 6, 2012

A news conference was held to announce the filing of a military sexual assault lawsuit (Civil Action 12-0350) with the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC. The case involves eight current and former members of the U.S. military who allege they were raped, assaulted, or harassed during their service. The lawsuit accuses the military of having a high tolerance for sexual predators in their ranks and discourages victims of sexual assault from coming forward.

To view the Military Sexual Assault Litigation news conference from the C-SPAN video library, click here.   [C-Span Program ID 304776-1]

 

Participants:

Susan Burke, Lead counsel for veterans, Burke PLLC

Two former U.S. Marine Corps officer survivors

Linda Hallman, Executive Director and CEO American Association of University Women

Col. Ann Wright (Ret.), U.S. Army

Nancy Parrish, President, Protect Our Defenders

Anu Bhagwati, Executive Director, Service Women’s Action Network; Former Marine Corps Captain

Eleanor Smeal, President, Feminist Majority


Additional Information:

Press Release from Service Women’s Action Network

National Press Club Statement by Anu Bhagwati Executive Director, Service Women’s Action Network

Rape in the Military Lawsuit Filed in Federal Court Today

Eight Military Women Allege Rape, Assault in Lawsuit

 

 

 

Victims of Military Rape Deserve Justice

 

Rep. Jackie Speier
Special to CNN
February 8, 2012

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has announced new initiatives to curtail what he calls “the epidemic” of rape and sexual assaults in our armed forces. In 2010, an estimated 19,000 service members were raped or sexually assaulted by other service members. Clearly, more resources devoted to counseling for victims and training for prosecutors and judges will help.

But the incidence of unpunished rapes will continue and so will the damaging effects these illegal acts have on troop morale and preparedness. This epidemic requires an overhaul of the military justice system.

To read the full piece on CNN, click here.

Additional Reporting:

DoD Seeks to Crack Down on Sex Assaults in Ranks,  Reuters,  Jan. 18, 2012

Panetta: Could be 19,000 Military Sex Assaults Each Year, MSNBC.com, Jan 18, 2012

 

To view Rep. Speier’s speeches to the House on the issue of military rape, click here.

Rep. Speier is the honorary chair of Protect Our Defenders, an organization that supports women and men in uniform who have been raped or sexually assaulted by fellow service members. Those who wish to share their stories can do so at Protect Our Defenders.

Victims of Military Rape Deserve Justice

 

Rep. Jackie Speier
Special to CNN.com
February 7, 2012

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has announced new initiatives to curtail what he calls “the epidemic” of rape and sexual assaults in our armed forces. In 2010, an estimated 19,000 service members were raped or sexually assaulted by other service members. Clearly, more resources devoted to counseling for victims and training for prosecutors and judges will help.

But the incidence of unpunished rapes will continue and so will the damaging effects these illegal acts have on troop morale and preparedness. This epidemic requires an overhaul of the military justice system.

To read Rep. Speier’s  opinion piece at CNN.com, click here.

A poster in Monrovia, Liberia, encouraging women to seek assistance if they have been raped (Keystone)

Rape as a Weapon of War

May 17, 2011

Media reports are becoming more disturbing by the day as we learn how rape is being used as an everpresent tool of war against women.

The following links represent some of the current stories in the media:

Libya Troops Using Rape as a Weapon?   CNN.com   May 17, 2011

STUDY: 1,152 Women Raped Everyday In DRC Totally Free Press.com May 12, 2011

Congo Study Sets Estimate for Rapes Much Higher  The New York Times May 11, 2011

STUDY: Estimates and Determinants of Sexual Violence Against Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Judge Orders Military to Stop Enforcing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

 

Adam Levine
CNN
October 12, 2010

A federal judge ordered Tuesday that the U.S. military stop enforcing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Judge Virginia Phillips ordered the military “immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation, or other proceeding, that may have been commenced” under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

To read the story at the CNN web site, click here.

For additional reporting on this story, click the links below.

Federal Judge Bars Enforcement Of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,  The Wonk Room, October 12, 2010

Judge Bars DADT Enforcement,   Advocate.com,  October 12, 2010