Suing the Department of Defense for Dereliction of Its Duty

 

Nancy Parrish
Huffington Post
April 23, 2012

 

This past Friday, Protect Our Defenders partnered with Susan Burke to file a lawsuit against West Point and the Naval Academy. The suit accuses the academies of failing to prosecute cadets and midshipmen who have raped their fellow students.

Burke filed the lawsuit four days after Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced what were touted as major reforms in the way the military handles sexual assault and rape. In reality, these so-called “reforms” fall well short of the fundamental reform required. The new policy does very little to address the culture of tolerance for rape that pervades the U.S. military and has given rise to the existing epidemic.

Plaintiffs Kelly Marquet and Anne Kendzior courageously stepped forth alleging their military academies “have a high tolerance for sexual predators in the ranks and ‘zero tolerance’ for those who rape…”

To read the full article at the Huffington Post, click here.

 

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

Col. Ann Wright (ret) at the March 6, 2012 press conference for the Military Sexual Assault lawsuit at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. Photo: Powers MediaWorks LLC

Col. Wright was interviewed about the ongoing issue of Military Sexual Assault and the recent lawsuit by Pat Thurston of radio station, KGO in San Francisco, California. You can listen to the interview by clicking on the radio below:

 (opens in a new window)

To learn more about the lawsuit filed on behalf of eight current and former members of the Navy and the Marine Corps, click here.

Military Sexual Predators Lawsuit

 

Ana Kasparian and Cenk Uygur
The Young Turks Network
March 11, 2012

 

 

Military Sexual Assault Lawsuit

 

A new lawsuit was filed in the US District Court in Washington, DC on March 6, 2012, behalf of eight current and former members of the Navy and Marine Corps. The lawsuit, filed by Susan L. Burke on behalf of the plaintiffs, charges that the

“laws designed to reduce rape, sexual assault and harassment in the Navy and Marine Corps directly and seriously harmed Plaintiffs and others who have reported rape and sexual assault and have challenged sexual harassment. Rather than being respected and appreciated for reporting crimes and unprofessional conduct, Plaintiffs and others who report are branded ‘troublemakers,’ endure egregious and blatant retaliation, and are often forced out of military service.”

The office of Burke PLLC is continuing their work on behalf of soldiers and officers who were raped while on active duty. If you were raped or assaulted, and are interested in representation, please contact the Burke PLLC office paralegal, Miranda Petersen at mpetersen@burkepllc.com for further information.

A copy of the complaint is available from the links below thanks to the staff of Burke PLLC.
(PDF and Flash versions below)

Military Sexual Assault Complaint (PDF)


Military Sexual Assault Litigation Press Update

 

The following is a collection of the reporting concerning the Military Sexual Assault Litigation filed on March 6, 2012 in U.S. District Court by Susan Burke on behalf of eight sailors and Marines  who reported being sexually assaulted, harassed and/or abused at the Marine Barracks in Washington D. C.

 

Defense Faces Lawsuit from Sexual Assault Victims, Government Executive, March 7, 2012

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

Alleged Rapes Lead to Suit, Columbia Daily Tribune, March 7, 2012

8 Women File Lawsuit, Accuse Military Of Having ‘High Tolerance For Sexual Predators In Their Ranks’, Huffington Post, March 6, 2012

8 Women Allege Rape, Harassment in Military Lawsuit, USA Today, March 6, 2012

Plaintiff in Rape Lawsuit Speaks Out, WAVY.com, March 6, 2012

Women Sue Military For Being Incredibly Rapey, Jezebel, March 6, 2012

Eight Women Allege Rape, Retaliation in U.S. Military, Reuters, March 6, 2012

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