Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel Hearings: Sexual Assault in the Military (March 24, 2021)

“Sexual assault victims and victims’ advocates testified on the need for Congress to address prevention and handling of such cases in the military. The Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel convened the hearing and was considering various proposals, including making changes to the military justice system, to address how assault cases are prosecuted.”Sexual Assault in the Military | CSPAN.org (March 24, 2021)

Video:

Senate armed services committee holds hearing on sexual assault in the military
Senator Elizabeth Warren on Sexual Assault in the Military
Sen. Gillibrand: sexual assault in military an ‘epidemic’ that’s getting worse
How personal experience is guiding this military corp’s attempt to combat sexual assault
Sen. Gillibrand Pushes For Sexual Assault Reform In Military

Witness Testimony of Ms. Amy Braley Franck, Founder, Never Alone:

Download Testimony here.

Chairman Gillibrand, Ranking Member Tillis, and Members of the Committee, I thank you for this opportunity.  

My name is Amy Braley Franck I have been working with victims of sexual violence since 2006.  Currently employed as Victims’ Advocate at 416th Theater Engineer Command.  

I am currently being retaliated against for reporting Command for illegally concealing and failing to report 3 violent Sexual Assaults to Law Enforcement.  

I have been on a paid suspension since 20 November 2019 the day after I emailed LTG Charles Luckey the evidence.  I emailed the same evidence to the Chief of Staff of the Army, GEN James McConville on 22 November 2019.  I also sent this evidence to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, GEN Mark Milley and DOD SAPRO Admiral Burkhart and Nate Galbreath.  This evidence mirrors what was documented in the Ft. Hood Report. 

Sexual assaults and violent rapes not reported to CID or Law Enforcement, there was retaliation against victims and reporters of crimes, no Case Management Group or attendance for over a year.  

I have been left in this “suspension” after protecting victims and reporting command for over 16 months completely ostracized and isolated in retaliation.   

This evidence was reported to the Office of Special Counsel and the DOD IG  

The Army’s Internal 15-6 process has impeded justice for my victims and myself.  This internal investigative process does not allow for transparency and should be abolished. 

17-year-old Private in Granite City, Illinois reserve center was raped resulting in broken bones.  She had to stand next to her assailant in formation.  The Command’s illegal 15-6 investigation was documented in a Memorandum for Record. 

For over a year no one assisted her until I was notified in June 2019 but after my suspension, that ended. 

Advocates are continually blocked by layers of Command from protecting their victims.  When Commanders ignore the advice of Advocates, we have no recourse.  There are no consequences for Commanders when they violate law.      

Documented by the number of murders and murders by suicide.  Nicole Burnham’s, Brigade Commander Col John Mountford left Nicole in the same barracks at Camp Casey with her offenders raped and later gang raped tortured for over 82 days before her Transfer was executed.  Nicole is dead. 

Staff Sgt. Morgan Robinson’s first offender is still serving in the Oklahoma Army National Guard.  Staff Sgt. Robinson’s report of 9 Special Forces Soldiers placing a covering over her head, dragging her out of a tent and gang-raping her. Never investigated.  

An outstanding Soldier committed Suicide; she was not protected.  

Lavena Johnson’s brutal murder has never been investigated. The Army still states that it was a suicide.  

16 years later the toxic culture again exposed with the murder of Vanessa Guillen.  

This is not isolated to Fort Hood, documented across all components of the Military.   

Ft. Campbell April 2020 another victim of a gang rape was arrested illegally by CID and denied counsel. 

MG Shadley retired alerted MG Donna Martin.  Nothing was done. 

Never Alone helped Soldier with Suicidal Ideations.  She is still fighting to clear her record.     

Fort Bliss, 31 December 2020 Pfc. Asia Graham was found dead. Asia’s offender is identified as an accused serial rapist.   Walking free no pre-trial confinement.  He continued to live in the same barracks on the same floor with Asia and was moved into Headquarters Company with Asia until her untimely death. 

Asia’s leadership failed to protect her after she reported her rape in February 2020 not June.  

PVT Richard Halliday is still missing from Ft. Bliss. 

When victims and victim advocates speak out about the broken process and illegal actions of commanders.  We face severe retaliation.  

All felony crimes murder, rape, sexual assault, domestic violence do not belong within the chain of Command’s control to investigate or prosecute.   

Kamisha Block’s death deemed friendly fire, she was murdered due to Domestic Abuse. 

The Abuse of Power is real. 

In Italy the Provost Marshal,LTC Michae Parsons Army Garrison filed an espionage charge in Italian Court against an Army Spouse, Michela Morellato.  Retaliation for exposing Gen Harrington resulting in his firing and demotion.  This retaliation was reported to GEN Milley and IG.  Nothing was done.    

Illegal internal 15-6 process.  Ability to redact investigations. None of us will ever know the truth or get justice.   

Just this week my own sexual assault by a 2-star general still under investigation was improperly released to be weaponized against another sexual assault advocate during an unrelated court martial. The military has no checks and balances.    

I was raised in the military and a proud mother of a Veteran.  I will not stop until our Military is a safe.  “Sexual misconduct is an abuse of power and force protection issue.  The inability of commanders to execute essential command functions of “protection” is a significant threat to the United States Military’s ability to protect this great Nation.”  Soldiers should Never be Alone.

Other Witnesses:
Ms. Amy Marsh, Military Spouse
Mr. Quinton McNair, Former SARC/SHARP Victim Advocate
Ms. Brenda S. Farrell, Director, Defense Capabilities And Management, GAO
Mr. Eugene R. Fidell, Senior Research Scholar, Yale Law School Adjunct Professor Of Law, New York University Law School
Colonel Don M. Christensen, USAF (Ret.), President, Protect Our Defenders
Colonel Lawrence J. Morris, USA Ret. (No electronic testimony submitted)

Honoring the Fallen:

Related Links:
Sexual Assault in the Military | C-SPAN.org
SASC Sexual Assault in the Military Hearings Press Release (March 24, 2021) 
Senate armed services committee holds hearing on sexual assault in the military
Senate panel holds hearing on sexual assault in the military | FULL HEARING
Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on sexual assault in the military
How personal experience is guiding this military corp’s attempt to combat sexual assault
Transcript for Committee on Armed Services to Receive Testimony on Sexual Assault in the Military
Sen. Gillibrand: sexual assault in military an ‘epidemic’ that’s getting worse
Gillibrand renews push for military sexual assault reform
Gillibrand launches new push to punish sexual predators in the military
Pentagon leaders have opposed plans overhauling the military system for trying sexual assault for years. Has the time come for change?
‘Just heartbreaking’: Sen. Gillibrand pushes for sexual assault reform in military
Editorial — Military injustice: Independent prosecutors should handle sexual assault cases
Army Pvt. Nicole Burnham Found Unresponsive in Fort Carson Barracks; Death Ruled Suicide After Sexual Assault, Retaliation & a Three Month Expedited Transfer Delay (January 26, 2018)
“They took her soul”: Army did “nothing” for soldier who reported sexual assault, mom says
Speier, Mullin Introduce Bipartisan ‘I Am Vanessa Guillén Act’ to Transform the Military’s Response to Sexual Violence & Missing Servicemembers (September 16, 2020)
Fort Campbell Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq; Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Investigation Revealed Rape and Murder (July 19, 2005)
Report of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee (November 6, 2020)
New sexual assault accusations after soldier’s death at Fort Bliss; Army opens investigation
Search Continues for Fort Bliss Soldier Reported Missing Over 200 Days
Fort Hood Army Staff Sgt. Paul Norris Fatally Shot Spc. Kamisha Block in Murder-Suicide in Iraq; Family Calls for Congressional Hearings & Independent Investigations (August 16, 2007)
Gillibrand: The Military Justice Improvement Act Would Give Service Members a Justice System That Works (July 1, 2019)
Find Richard Halliday | Facebook

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