SAN DIEGO (AP) — Stacey Thompson had just been stationed at a Marine Corps base in Japan when she said her sergeant laced her drinks with drugs, raped her in his barracks and then dumped her onto a street outside a nightclub at 4 a.m. The 19-year-old lance corporal was not afraid to speak up.
She reported it to her superiors but little happened. She said she discovered her perpetrator was allowed to leave the Marine Corps and she found herself, instead, at the center of a separate investigation for drug use stemming from that night. Six months later, she was kicked out with an other-than-honorable discharge — one step below honorable discharge — which means she lost her benefits.
Sixteen years ago, Robert Shadley, then a major general in the Army, uncovered disturbing news from an important Army training facility at Aberdeen Proving Ground.
Drill sergeants and other instructors were regularly using their power to get sexual favors from young female trainees, or sometimes even assaulting or raping them.
After spending two years investigating sex assaults at APG, Shadley says not much has changed in the Army a decade and a half later.
“The sexual assaults are not about the sex. It’s all about the abuse of power. You have the propensity of some men, and women, to do that kind of thing, and then you put them in an organization that has a hierarchical structure that talks about the importance of following the chain of command. It’s just like pouring gasoline onto a fire.” -Robert D. Shadley
(CNN) — U.S. military leaders are “angry” and “ashamed” over sexual assaults plaguing the armed forces, President Barack Obama said Thursday after ordering top Pentagon officials to “leave no stone unturned” in the effort to stop the abuse.
The president’s comments came the same day legislation was introduced in Congress to ease the victims’ quest for justice, a move that followed news this month of two high-profile cases involving sexual assault in the military — allegedly by the very service members tasked with preventing such crimes.
Obama summoned Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He told the two that it was imperative they find a solution to the abuse that is undermining trust in the military.
Ivanice Harris and Nathaniel Cosby, US Marine Corps
The dead body of tourist Ivanice ‘Ivy’ Harris was discovered at Yokohama Bay on the island of Oahu in Hawaii on May 20th, 2013. Ivy was living in Nevada but was originally a native of Portland, Oregon; she was four weeks pregnant. Ivy’s friends and family initiated a search after she disappeared on May 16th while celebrating her 29th birthday in Hawaii with her boyfriend, also her pimp. According to Ivy’s memorial, she died on May 17th. Ivy’s death was officially ruled a homicide by the medical examiner’s office; she died of a neck injury. Hawaii police conducted a thorough investigation that led to an active duty Marine on temporary duty assignment in Hawaii. Master Sgt. Nathaniel Cosby, 39, was an explosive ordnance disposal technician assigned to Marine Wing Support Squadron-171 in the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing based out of Iwakumi, Japan. Cosby was arrested at the airport (destination unknown) and charged with Ivy Harris’ murder. After released by the Honolulu Police Department, Cosby was temporarily assigned to an aircraft unit in Kaneohe, Hawaii and according to a Marine spokesman, free to come and go as he pleased.
At some point it appears the civilian authorities deferred to the miitary because Cosby was court martialed by the Marines for the second degree murder of Ivy Harris. Cosby was an active duty Marine therefore he could be tried by the civilians, the military, or both. During the course of the legal proceedings, Cosby admitted to a confrontation with Ivy Harris over money in his hotel room after a night of drinking. He claimed Ivy demanded money then pulled out a knife after he attempted to get out of the room so he put her in a chokehold and killed her in self defense. He got rid of her body to avoid embarrassment to his family and to the Marine Corps. According to court testimony, he was unable to give a blow-by-blow description of the struggle, describing the scene as ‘chaos’. An 8-member military panel found Nathaniel Cosby guilty of second degree murder, obstructing justice, and attempting to patronize a prostitute. The panel recommended life in prison and a dishonorable discharge pending final approval by the convening authority, the Marine Forces Pacific commander. Cosby will serve his life sentence at the maximum-security military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
“After being released by HPD, he was temporarily assigned to an aircraft unit at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe, where a U.S. Marines spokesman said he will be free to come and go as he pleases like all other Marines.” –Hawaii News Now
The medical examiner confirms the Oregon woman whose body was found in west Oahu was murdered. Ivanice “Ivy” Harris was found dead four days after she went missing in Waikiki. -KITV4
As lawmakers on Thursday railed against the epidemic of sexual assault in the military, President Barack Obama summoned top Pentagon leaders to an emergency White House meeting to deal with the latest scandals and the perceived culture of indifference among service leaders.
“It’s time to change a system that is clearly not working,” said Gillibrand, who argued that rape victims too often see their legal cases ignored or undermined by commanders more interested in protecting their subordinates than fixing problems. “We need to give victims the basic confidence that justice will be had.”
On May 11, 2009, SSG John Russell gunned down five of his fellow comrades at a mental health clinic at Camp Liberty in Iraq with his M-16. It was revealed that he had an argument with someone at the clinic, left, and came back with his gun. His crimes were determined to be premeditated. He was arrested and subsequently charged with murder and aggravated assault of another soldier that was seriously injured. Days before the killings witnesses noticed that he was distant and having suicidal thoughts. He was also scheduled to leave Iraq in a few days. He was tried for the murders of his fellow comrades and found guilty. He was sentenced to life in prison. But his family feels that the Army should also take responsibility for their actions. The family believes that John was broken and not treated for the injuries he sustained in combat, in the line of duty. SSG Russell was being treated for symptoms associated with Post Traumatic Stress with medications but it is believed that the psychotropics the military psychiatrists prescribed to him may have played a role in his actions. He was described as a kind, caring man up until the day he committed the unforeseen murders against his fellow soldiers.