Rape victim: Retaliation prevalent in military

Stacey Thompson

Stacey Thompson, US Marine Corps

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.

Read more here.

The Baltimore Sun published “Retired APG general: The players change, the ‘GAM’ remains the same” (May 23, 2013)

51dw4weNnpL._SX346_BO1,204,203,200_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

Read more from The Baltimore Sun here.

CCTV News: Jennifer Norris Discusses Sexual Assault in the U.S. Military (May 19, 2013)

Anchor Anand Naidoo and Jennifer Norris, a retired Air Force Sergeant, discuss sexual assault in the U.S. military. -CCTV News

CNN | ‘Obama: Pentagon leaders “ashamed” over sexual assaults plaguing military’ (May 17, 2013)

xl_deptofdefenselogoObama: Pentagon leaders ‘ashamed’ over sexual assaults plaguing military

(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.

Watch CNN video here.

Active Duty Marine Nathaniel Cosby Murdered Ivanice Harris in Hawaii; Sentenced to Life in Prison by Military Courts (May 17, 2013)


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

Related Links:
Obituary: Ivanice Jo’Ruth “Ivy” Harris Greer
In Memory of Ivanice Harris
Friends and Family of missing Oregon woman ask the public for help
Naked body of Oregon woman found washed up on Hawaii beach
Police identify woman killed at Yokohama Bay
Body discovered near Yokohama Bay identified as missing tourist
Body Of Portland Woman Missing In Hawaii Found On Beach
Body of missing Portland woman found in Hawaii
Oregon woman found dead in Hawaii was pregnant
Jewelry tip led to arrest in Ivy Harris case
Hawaii police arrest man in Ivy Harris case
Man arrested at airport for death of Portland woman in Hawaii
Marine charged with murder of Portland woman in Hawaii
Marine master sergeant charged with killing Vegas escort in Hawaii
Ivanice Harris Murder: U.S. Marine charged in death of Las Vegas prostitute in Hawaii
Marine accused of killing prostitute from Oregon who was on vacation in Hawaii for her birthday
U.S. Marine released in Hawaii killing of Ivanice Harris
Trial date set in prostitute death
Marine faces Hawaii hearing in Oregon woman’s death
Marine accused of prostitute murder goes on trial
Marine accused of murdering Portland woman to face court-martial
Detective: Marine took prostitute to Waikiki hotel
Security video caught Marine with murder victim, but he claims he’s innocent
Marine accused of prostitute murder claims self-defense
Marine claims self-defense in murder of Ivy Harris
Marine accused of prostitute murder claims self-defense
Marine Guilty in Harris’ Death
Marine found guilty in Hawaii murder case of Portland woman
Marine found guilty of murdering Portland prostitute Ivanice ‘Ivy’ Harris in Hawaii
Military jury recommends life term for Iwakuni Marine in Hawaii murder
Military jury: Life in prison and dishonorable discharge for Master Sgt. Cosby
Life sentence upheld for U.S. Marine who killed prostitute
US Marine Corps Upholds Life Sentence for Murder of Ivy Harris
Appeals court upholds murder conviction of USMC master sergeant
Pimp of murdered prostitute may be involved in crime ring
FBI: Ten Portland-Area Pimps Charged with Transporting Young Women to Hawaii and Other States for Prostitution
Ivy Harris’ accused pimp arrested in Portland
Portland rapper Meezilini indicted in federal prostitution sweep
DOJ: Portland pimps indicted, including suspect in Ivy Harris case
Pimp of Portland woman killed in Hawaii sentenced to prison
Pimp of woman murdered in Hawaii sentenced to 3 years in prison

Stars and Stripes: ‘White House, Congress bear down on military sexual assault’ (May 16, 2013)

Military Justice Improvement Act

White House, Congress bear down on military sexual assault

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.”

Read more from Stars and Stripes here.

Army SSG John Russell Sentenced to Life in Prison for the Premeditated Murders of Five Fellow Soldiers at a Mental Health Clinic in Iraq (May 16, 2013)

SSG John Russell, U.S. Army

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.

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Honoring the Victims:

  1. Major Matthew Houseal, 54, U.S. Army
  2. Commander Keith Springle, 52, U.S. Navy
  3. Sergeant Christian Bueno-Galdos, 25, U.S. Army
  4. Specialist Jacob Barton, 20, U.S. Army
  5. Private First Class Michael Yates, 19, U.S. Army

Related Links:
DoD Identifies Navy Casualty
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
Army IDs Sgt. John M. Russell as the shooter who killed 5 fellow soldiers at Iraq base
U.S. soldier charged with murder in Iraq shooting deaths
Army Sgt. that killed 5 comrades in Iraq a Sherman native
Father: Army ‘Broke’ Soldier Held in Kilings
Did Doctors Deny Iraq Shooter’s Stress?
U.S. Soldier Charged in Baghdad Shooting Was Due to Leave Iraq Soon
Horror and stresses of Iraq duty led US sergeant to kill comrades
When PTSD Comes Marching Home
Military Mental Health Crisis Exposed With Camp Liberty Killings
Trial date set in case of officer’s murder
Wait for court-martial in fratricide case frustrates victim’s family
Army judge orders soldier who killed five in Iraq to be hypnotised
Army sergeant pleads guilty to 2009 killing of fellow soldiers
US soldier ‘coolly smoked a cigarette’ before shooting dead five of his comrades in Iraq, court hears
US soldier who shot five troops was ‘broken’ by counsellors
Judge: Soldier premeditated murder of 5 at Iraq combat stress clinic
U.S. soldier found guilty of 5 premeditated killings in Iraq
Sgt. John Russell: Wrenching testimony in penalty phase
Soldier who killed fellow U.S. troops in Iraq gets life sentence
US army sergeant jailed for life over Iraq killings
Psychiatry in the Military: The Hidden Enemy—Full Documentary
Violent Crime at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
Army SSG John Russell Killed Five Fellow Soldiers at a Mental Health Clinic in Iraq; Found Guilty of Premeditated Murder, Sentenced to Life in Prison (May 11, 2009)

CBS News: Sexual assault victim, “The system is rigged” (2013)

Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 12.29.59 AMWith tears streaming down her face, Jennifer Norris, a former Technical Sergeant in the Air Force, describes her harrowing experience with sexual assault and the difficulty she had in seeking justice within the military chain of command, saying, “The system is rigged against the victims” and in favor of the “often higher-ranking perpetrators.” [VIDEO]

Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) Cosponsored the Military Justice Improvement Act; Currently Serving as Senate Armed Services Committee Member (May 16, 2013)

Mazie Hirono

Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Senate Armed Services Committee

Hawaii Delegation Backs Reforms Against Military Sexual Assaults (May 16, 2013) by Kery Murakami, Honolulu Civil Beat

New legislation would make it easier for victims of sexual assaults in the military to come forward.

“WASHINGTON, D.C. — A burgeoning scandal over sexual assaults in the military is fueling calls from congressional lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to support a bill that gives victims greater confidence that they’ll get justice. At an emotional press conference on Thursday where former service members spoke of being sexually assaulted while in the military, Sen. Mazie Hirono and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard joined a bipartisan group in both chambers in pushing for reform. The issue was a personal one for Gabbard, who served two tours of duty in the Middle East with the National Guard. Though she was not available for comment Thursday, she told CNN earlier this month that rape culture was prevalent during her first deployment to Iraq, to the point where soldiers were trained on protecting themselves from other soldiers.”

At [the] press conference, Jennifer Norris said she was raped while serving in the U.S. Air Force. “At first I was too afraid to report my assault to my chain of command, but two years later I was forced to report due to the escalation of the behavior and the fear that I would be raped again,” she said. Norris…said she’d been reluctant to report the rape because, “in the Air Force, I witnessed first hand what happens to those who stepped forward to report their assaults. I did not want to be stigmatized for reporting my assault — as I tried to move forward with my career. Instead, the best option for me was to try and endure it, to suck it up and try and make it until I could get transferred somewhere else — only to have it happen over and over again, like a recurring nightmare.” –Honolulu Civil Beat (May 16, 2013)

Read more from Honolulu Civil Beat here.

In the News:

U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono was joined today by victims of sexual assault in the military and organizations who assist victims of Military Sexual Trauma (MST) to announce new bipartisan, bicameral legislation that would reform the military justice system by removing the prosecution of all crimes punishable by one year or more in confinement from the chain of command, except crimes that are uniquely military in nature, such as disobeying orders or going Absent Without Leave. -Mazie Hirono (September 25, 2013)

Senator Mazie K. Hirono joined a diverse coalition, led by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), to call for the creation of a fair military justice system to reverse the systemic obstacles that sexual assault victims face. The Military Justice Improvement Act would remove the military’s chain of command’s sole decision-making power over whether cases move forward to trial. -Mazie Hirono (November 6, 2013)

Hirono Speaks In Support Of The Military Justice Improvement Act. -Mazie Hirono (November 14, 2013)

With Vote Looming, Hirono Urges Support For Military Justice Improvement Act -Mazie Hirono (November 20, 2013)

Before Senate Vote, Hirono Urges Colleagues To Pass Military Justice Improvement Act -Mazie Hirono (March 6, 2014)

PBS NewsHour: Hirono Fights For Military Justice Improvement Act -Mazie Hirono (March 7, 2014)

Senator Hirono Calls to Address Military Sexual Assault -Mazie Hirono (May 24, 2016)

Senator Hirono Presses Marine Corps Commandant for Commitment to Address Military Sexual Assualt -Mazie Hirono (March 14, 2017)

Related Links:
Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Senate Armed Services Committee
S.967 – Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013
S.1752 – Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013
Rape victims testify about assaults in Military (March 13, 2013)
Hawaii Delegation Backs Reforms Against Military Sexual Assaults (May 16, 2013)
Tough military sexual assault bill introduced (May 17, 2013)
Hirono visits 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks (April 8, 2013)
Hawaii delegation supports bill on military sexual assault (May 17, 2013)
Women in Congress Leading the Charge on Changing the Culture of Sexual Assault in the Military (May 18, 2013)
Women in the Senate Confront the Military on Sexual Assaults (June 3, 2013)
Senate set for battle over military sexual assault (June 12, 2013)
Diverse coalition behind Gillibrand sexual assault bill (July 16, 2013)
Military Sexual Assault Bill Would Reassign Authority (July 21, 2013)
Military Sexual Assault Bill Would Reassign Authority (July 21, 2013)
Hirono Joins Colleagues To Announce Bill To Stop Sexual Assault In The Military (September 25, 2013)
Hirono Calls For Fair Military Justice System For Survivors Of Sexual Assault (November 6, 2013)
Hirono Joins Bipartisan Group of Colleagues to Call for Fair Military Justice System for Sexual Assault Survivors (November 6, 2013)
Group of senators begin push to remove sex assault cases from chain of command (November 6, 2013)
McCaskill, Blunt seek to reform military sexual assault proceeding law (November 12, 2103)
Hirono Speaks In Support Of The Military Justice Improvement Act (November 14, 2013)
Rekha Basu: An epidemic of sexual assault in the military (November 19, 2013)
With Vote Looming, Hirono Urges Support For Military Justice Improvement Act (November 20, 2013)
Gillibrand, McCaskill Resume Military Sexual-Assault Debate (February 6, 2014)
Before Senate Vote, Hirono Urges Colleagues To Pass Military Justice Improvement Act (March 6, 2014)
PBS NewsHour: Hirono Fights For Military Justice Improvement Act (March 7, 2014)
Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand And Claire McCaskill Begin To Take On College Sexual Assault (April 4, 2014)
U.S. Senators Serious About Sexual Assault (April 21, 2014)
Retaliation Against Victims of Military Sexual Assault Still Persists (December 4, 2014)
Senators demand transparency in US military justice system (December 8, 2015)
Pentagon data on child sex crimes in the military doesn’t show full picture (January 4, 2016)
Senator Hirono Calls to Address Military Sexual Assault (May 24, 2016)
Senator Hirono Presses Marine Corps Commandant for Commitment to Address Military Sexual Assualt (March 14, 2017)
Hirono, Gillibrand Re-Introduce Legislation to Address Crisis of Military Sexual Assault (November 16, 2017)
Military Justice Improvement Act Targets Sex Assaults (November 20, 2017)
Defense Department targets Air Force Academy’s use of mental diagnoses to oust cadets who report sexual assault (March 1, 2018)
Pentagon IG opens evaluation of Air Force Academy sexual assault prevention office (March 1, 2018)
Senators Hirono, Gillibrand Reintroduce Legislation to Bring Justice to Survivors of Sexual Assault in the Military (June 14, 2019)
Senate Armed Services Committee Members & House Armed Services Committee Members (June 21, 2019)
Hirono Calls For Fair Military Justice System For Survivors Of Sexual Assault
Hirono Joins Colleagues To Announce Bill To Stop Sexual Assault In The Military
Senator Hirono Calls to Address Military Sexual Assault

NBC News: ‘Senator seeks to reform military’s “unacceptable” sex abuse policies’ (May 16, 2013)

xl_deptofdefenselogoSenator seeks to reform military’s ‘unacceptable’ sex abuse policies

A New York senator introduced a bill Thursday that aims to remove sex crimes from the military’s chain of command — a bid to transform an insulated culture that tends to dampen sex-assault reporting, leaving many victims feeling helpless or hopeless.

Under the Pentagon’s current justice system, less than 1 percent of accused sexual perpetrators in the military were convicted last year while during 2012 just 9.8 percent of sex-assault victims reported the incidents, according to a Department of Defense report. Many victims feel powerless because their superiors can control everything from whether a case proceeds to whether a guilty verdict is eventually overturned.

“When the officer in charge of preventing sexual assault in their ranks is himself arrested for sexual assault — clearly, the strategy we have in place is not working. Twice in just the last two weeks this has happened,” Gillibrand said.

Read more from NBC News here.