The Pendulum Has Swung: Defending Yourself Against False Allegations in Senator Claire McCaskill’s Military Justice System

If you or someone you know has been falsely accused of a crime,
please contact Save Our Heroes.

This animated video describes the obstacles faced by military members who are wrongly or falsely accused of sexual assault. From the recent changes to the UCMJ to the barriers built around the alleged victim, wrongly and falsely accused service members face an uphill battle defending themselves. Court-martial defense lawyer Will M. Helixon, with decades of experience as a sex crimes prosecutor, can team with the military detailed counsel to level the playing field and defend the rights of the wrongly and falsely accused. (www.helixongroup.com)

Learn more: Letter of Support for Save Our Heroes in Our Shared Quest for Military Justice Reform & Constitutional Rights

Army Reserve Veteran Micah Johnson Murdered Five Dallas Police Officers During Black Lives Matter Protest in Texas (2016)

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Micah Johnson, US Army Reserve

Micah Johnson, a US Army Reserve veteran, is accused of gunning down and murdering five Dallas police officers during a Black Lives Matter Event on July 7, 2016. This is considered one of the deadliest attacks on police officers since September 11, 2001. He was eventually killed in a stand off with police. In recent media reports we learned that Micah Johnson deployed to Afghanistan from November 2013 to July 2014. He was accused of sexual harassment while deployed to Afghanistan in May 2014. He was accused of stalking and stealing women’s underwear as well. The victim sought a protection order and told superiors he needed mental health treatment. The protection order was granted and the Commanding officer recommended an Other Than Honorable discharge and sent him home early from his deployment to Afghanistan. Johnson’s military attorney stated that this kind of punishment is unusual for an isolated incident of sexual harassment. As part of a tentative agreement, it was recommended that Johnson receive a general discharge which saves the Army time and resources needed to discharge soldiers under Other Than Honorable conditions. Instead he was eventually released from the Army with a honorable discharge in April 2015.

As a result of his actions while serving, he was not investigated and prosecuted but instead sent back home from overseas and discharged from the US Army Reserves honorably. Although we have limited information in which to base conclusions, at first glance this looks like a case of escalation of predatory behavior that starts with sexual harassment, progresses to stalking, then the individual gets brazen and starts breaking and entering to steal his victims belongings. It would only be a matter of time before the individual escalated to sexual assault, rape and then murder. It’s too early to make a definitive conclusion as we are still waiting for information to come in because this story is developing. But one thing we do know is that the US Army Reserves took the easy way out, booted Micah Johnson from the military to protect it’s service members, and unleashed him on society with no warning or records. This case is another reason why we need the military to investigate and process each and every case through the legal system so we at least have a fighting chance at prevention and escalation of crimes. If the military can’t handle or afford to investigate and prosecute each case to determine the soldier’s danger to society, then maybe they should hand over the investigation and prosecution of crimes to the civilians. This isn’t the first case they let slip through the cracks and it certainly won’t be the last.

Related Links:
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Army launches internal review of Dallas shooter Micah Johnson’s military record
Who was Micah Johnson? A more complex picture emerges
‘I just wanted a piece of him’: College officers pushed through injuries in Dallas shooting
Military Snipers: Dallas Shooter NO “Sniper”
When Army career ended in disgrace, Dallas gunman was ostracized
During Army days, Dallas shooter was a mediocre marksman
‘Kind of goofy’: Friends recall Dallas gunman’s personality
Still No Explanation for Dallas Gunman’s Honorable Discharge
Dallas cop killer Micah Johnson was BLACKLISTED by black militant group two years ago after background check branded him ‘unfit for recruitment’
The Dallas Shooter Wanted To Stay In This Anti-Semitic Black Militant Group
Dallas Shooter Faced Sexual-Harassment Allegations in Army, Military Lawyer Says
Dallas cop shooter Micah Johnson was booted from Afghanistan amid sexual harassment accusations
The latest: President Obama orders flags lowered to half-staff
Officer killed in Dallas shootings had survived 3 tours in Iraq
Dallas Police shooting: Victims served in Navy & Marine Corps, suspect had been in Army
The Dallas Shooting Suspect Had Military Experience
Dallas Shooter Accused Of Sexual Harassment In Army
Dallas gunman studied ‘shoot and move’ tactics, black nationalism
Dallas Shooter Micah Johnson Was Accused of Sexual Harassment During His Military Days
The female soldier who ‘pervert’ Dallas cop killer sexually harassed as colleague reveals murderer used to ‘steal girls’ panties’
Fellow soldier accused Dallas shooter of sexual harassment
Dallas police killer ‘sexually harassed woman soldier who warned he was unstable and pleaded for protection’
Dallas shooter stockpiled weapons and was accused of harassment
What we know about the suspected shooter in Dallas
‘Loner’ Dallas gunman had bomb materials and kept journal of combat tactics
Dallas gunman Micah Johnson honed tactics at local combat school
Dallas officers shot to death include newlywed, Iraq veteran
Neighbor recalls his conversation with the Dallas shooter
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Dallas suspect taunted police during 2 hours of negotiation
Dallas sniper shooting: 5 police officers slain, suspect ID’d as Army vet Micah Johnson
Dallas police chief: Shooter seemed delusional, scrawled cryptic messages in blood
Micah Johnson, Dallas Cop-Killer, Was Black Militant and Army Veteran
Dallas cop killer suffered PTSD-like symptoms after Afghanistan
What Is PTSD? Micah Johnson Who Killed 5 Dallas Police Officers Showed Symptoms Of Disorder
The Army reservist who ambushed and killed 5 Dallas police officers showed signs of PTSD
Dallas shooter showed signs of PTSD when he returned from Afghanistan, VA records show
Soldier who killed 5 Dallas police officers showed PTSD symptoms, documents show
Dallas Cop Shooter Reportedly Displayed PTSD Symptoms After Afghanistan Tour
Dallas Shooter Showed PTSD Signs, But Little Was Done
Investigating impact of war on Dallas killer’s mental health
One year later: Signs of PTSD, mental illness; search for treatments
Dramatic Footage Shows Dallas Officer Shot
Dallas Shooter Micah Johnson Was Army Veteran & ‘Loner’
Micah Johnson, 25, Identified As Dallas Gunman Who Claimed To Be Army Vet
Dallas Sniper Micah Xavier Johnson Was Ex-Army Reservist
Former Army Dallas Shooter Not Trained Sniper
Dallas Shooter’s Weapons Removed by Army During Deployment
Cop Shooter Micah Johnson Booted From Army Tour For Sexual Harassment
Micah Xavier Johnson: what we know about the Dallas shooting gunman and his attack
Dallas Cop-Killer Micah Johnson Served as a Corporal in the Army Reserve
Micah Xavier Johnson: what we know about the Dallas shooting gunman and his attack
Dallas Shooter’s Family Says Military Service Changed Him
Parents of Dallas Gunman Micah Johnson: I Love My Son, I Hate What He Did
US Army opens investigation into Dallas shooters military service
Dallas Ambush Shooting: From Peaceful Protest to Chaos: Part 1
Dallas Officers Killed in Ambush Included a Father, Newlywed: Part 1
Dallas Police Chief David Brown Speaks at Dallas Shooting Memorial


As the funerals for the slain Dallas police officers continue, the investigation into the background and motive of Dallas shooter, Micah Johnson, continues. The US Army has opened an investigation into Johnson’s military service. Johnson reportedly spent six years in the Army Reserves and was accused of sexual harassment while serving. RT America’s Manuel Rapalo reports from Dallas, where police are also investigating claims that Johnson purchased an AK-47 off of Facebook for $600 before the shooting. -RT America

Vanity Fair Confidential on Investigation Discovery Features ‘Code of Dishonor’


There are thousands of victims. All members of the American Air Force. How far will they go to stop a covert war against women? -Vanity Fair Confidential

Vanity Fair Confidential on Investigation Discovery featured ‘Code of Dishonor’ which was an investigation of the issue of sexual assault in the military. They highlighted the US Air Force Academy sexual assault scandal back in 2003 and the more recent case of Myah Bilton-Smith, who was also a victim of sexual assault while serving in the United States Air Force. The show revealed that sexual assault can happen to anyone including officers and enlisted.

Related Links:
Code of Dishonor, Vanity Fair
Code of Dishonor Post-Script
Hidden Sexual Assault In The Military: Code Of Dishonor
Conduct Unbecoming
Former cadet talks about rape
`Expect rape,’ ex-cadet says she was warned
More Cadets Speaking Out About Assaults
Former cadets say rapes at academy ended dreams
Defense to investigate cadets’ rape allegations
Ex-Brass Deny Ignoring Victims
Demotion in air academy sex scandal / Air Force general loses one star before retirement
Ex-Superintendent of Air Force Academy Is Demoted in Wake of Rape Scandal
Air Force leadership blamed for sex scandal
Senate to hear female victims of Air Force academy sexual assaults
Interview with Beth Davis, former US Air Force Academy cadet
Air Force Sex Scandal Gets Hotter
Sexual Assault and Violence Against Women in the Military and at the Academies
C-SPAN: Sexual Misconduct in the Military (June 27, 2006)
Albuquerque Reporter Was A ‘Beautiful Girl Inside and Out’
Vanity Fair Confidential ‘Code of Dishonor’ (YouTube)

VOR America: Jennifer Norris Discusses Sexual Misconduct in the Military (2014)

Alaska National Guard Updates Military Justice Code (2016)

National GuardSexual Assault Prevention and Response Program

Alaska National Guard unit being investigated for allegations of sexual misconduct
Alaska National Guard Responds to Allegations of Sexual Assault
Alleged Alaska National Guard Sexual Assault Victim Speaks Out
National Guard Sexual Assault Survivor Speaks Out
Rape victim says Alaska National Guard violated her confidentiality
Scathing report on Alaska National Guard forces out commander
The Three-Headed Monster
Alaska National Guard recruiter fights accusations of misconduct
Alaska National Guard Sex Abuse Scandal Threatens GOP Governor’s Re-election
National Guard documents detail chronic misconduct among recruiting leaders
Alaska National Guard condoned ‘weapons smuggling, rape, and drug trafficking’
Alaska Gov. Walker names new Guard adjutant general
First woman commander of Alaska National Guard: ‘no old boys network’
It’s time for action to protect our Alaska National Guard
State releases 4,000-plus email pages in Alaska National Guard scandal
Special Investigator’s Report on Alaska National Guard Sexual Harassment and Abuse Issues
Report: Inadequate records kept of National Guard complaints
Report cites command climate problems in Alaska Guard probe
Alaska National Guard investigation results confirm mishandling of complaints
National Guard pilot’s experience as sexual assault victim singled out
Investigator calls for Alaska National Guard reform on sexual assaults
Broken Trust: How whistle-blowers and victims in the Alaska National Guard went unheard
Alaska National Guard calls for new military code
Alaska National Guard presses lawmakers to adopt new military code
Alaska House passes bill updating military justice code
In wake of National Guard scandal, House passes reforms to Alaska military justice code
Alaska House of Representatives Unanimously Approves Code of Military Justice for the Alaska National Guard
Alaska Code of Military Justice: HB 126 and the Alaska National Guard
Legislation: Alaska House Bill 60: Military: Sexual Assault
Governor Walker Applauds Adoption of Alaska Code of Military Justice
Governor to sign update to Alaska’s military justice code

Link

USAF SealFear of retaliation: The culture that prevents airmen from speaking up

They accused superiors of assault and harassment, now their careers are over.

Victims “tell me they don’t come forward for a number of reasons. They feel personally ashamed. They feel that they may be blamed for what has happened. They do fear retaliation, sometimes from chain of command, sometimes from their buddies in the unit.”

Read more: http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20131007/NEWS/310070009/Fear-of-retaliation-The-culture-that-prevents-airmen-from-speaking-up

Why do we need the Military Justice Improvement Act?

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Retaliation

Because more than 86% of service members assaulted do NOT report it. Help us pass the MJIA. Contact your
Senators and Representatives and ask them to reform the military justice system and provide victims with a new place to report their crimes. Please sign this petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/u-s-congress-demand-justice-for-military-sexual-trauma-victims-support-s-967?utm_source=supporter_message&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=petition_message_notice

Breaking the Set: Rape in the Military, Exposing Susan Rice, & Secrets of Bilderberg (2013)

Abby Martin Breaks the Set on Aid to Israel, Sexual Assault Surging in the Military, Susan Rice’s Warmongering Past, and Secrets of Bilderberg.

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

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

Why I Support the STOP Act (H.R. 3435)

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Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) & Jennifer Norris, USAF Retired

The STOP Act, Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act, would establish an independent professional legal entity separate from the chain of command of the Department of Defense. Until very recently, sexual assault investigations were under the control of and conducted by the Commander. The Commander had the power to decide to pursue justice or not and to what level he elevated it. Leon Panetta, Secretary of Defense, has recently declared that he is taking the power to investigate out of the hands of the Commanders and giving it to an O-6 or higher in the Chain of Command. My initial reaction is that there is an automatic conflict of interest with that and that the investigation can still be stifled if kept within the Chain of Command. The STOP Act would help to provide a form of checks and balances and put the case in the hands of a professional so that the investigation is handled appropriately. It is imperative that these cases be handled effectively in order to prevent further emotional and physical harm to the victims of such crimes.

In my efforts to educate the public via mostly social media, my fellow advocacy peers and I have come across rape apologists. My initial reaction is that these vocal dissenters of justice are the perpetrators themselves but after seeing so many various reactions to the topic, I am led to believe that there is a widespread misconception out there about the crime, the perpetrators, and the victims of sexual assault. For some reason, the white elephant in the room is that most claims of sexual assault are bogus reports. Today I was reminded by a fellow soldier (not the norm) that victims of rape claim rape to avoid charges of adultery. Who would know about that aside from the rapists and those unfortunate victims who happen to get caught up in this web of destruction? I never would have imagined this kind of response to a person who had the courage to report this crime. My day was somewhat planned until I woke up to this kind of mentality once again.

Instead of turning the other way and doing nothing, I decided to take this opportunity to educate others about the issue since there really is no arguing with idiots. At this point, it isn’t about what the rape apologists have to say; its about the truth. The truth is that most reports of sexual assault are not bogus reports. If there are any cases of bogus reports, they are definitely not the norm and don’t even compare to the number of sexual assaults. By the DoD’s own estimates there are roughly 3,192 sexual assaults reported a year in the military. These DoD estimates are staggering. Although Secretary Panetta estimates that the number is closer to 19,000 a year; most of them go unreported. And for those who have been victims of sexual assault or rape in the military, you understand clearly why one would be hesitant to report. It has devastating effects on your career, and in some cases reporting this crime is a career ender.

Although I pressed charges against two of the four perpetrators I crossed paths with within the first two years of my career, justice was still not served. I thought at the time that justice was served but after seeing how things played out and learning more about the issue, I see that my case clearly falls into the typical way that sexual assault investigations are handled in the military. The threshold for punishment is one of pity for the perpetrator because of how the report might affect their career, therefore they are not dealt the punishment that fits the crime. I must preface by stating that my Commander handled the situation pretty well. Unfortunately, this is not the norm. I have read countless stories about military rape victims who have sought justice only to be met with disbelief. In addition, they are treated like the enemy afterwards and their lives become a living hell. Not only are they forced to work with their rapist but they are forced psychologically to handle a situation that no one would wish on their worst enemy. Imagine the psychological trauma that results from getting raped by a fellow soldier and then having to work with or for that individual the next day.

In my case, one of the men who was sexually assaulting me was my NCOIC (Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge). He was my boss therefore he had the power to tell me what to do and when to do it. I was an E-4 and he was an E-7. He had the power to make me a “warehouse manager” in an effort to isolate me so that he could prey on me when we were alone. If he told me to work in the warehouse that day, then I worked in the warehouse. If he told me to do anything, I had to do it because otherwise it was, “disobeying a direct order” or “disrespect to an NCO”. I knew that if I did not comply with him that he could affect the outcome of my promotions, temporary duty assignments, work responsibilities, and general overall health. I was totally enslaved to this man because I didn’t want to risk the harm that came from reporting a sexual predator to the chain of command. Eventually, I didn’t have a choice but to report but it was not until after I was completely broken.

I went from “superior performer” to I don’t give a crap. I went from I want to retire with the military to I want out of here as soon as I can. I went from being happy and energetic to being totally sad and completely wiped out emotionally. I never imagined in a million years how negatively this would affect my psyche. I now understood why it is illegal and considered a crime to touch another person’s body, force yourself on another person, and/or make derogatory, sexual, belittling comments to another human being. I felt like my hard work and efforts meant nothing. I felt like I existed mainly for the purpose of the perpetrators pleasure. I felt like no matter how hard I worked or how much I learned that none of it mattered. It was like banging my head against a brick wall. Others noticed how hard I worked but the one person that controlled my career just happened to be a sexual predator.

For those who have been in the military, you understand how important the Chain of Command is. You also know that it is required that you report to your Chain of Command and attempt to resolve all issues at the lowest level possible. So what do you do when the person who is assaulting you is in your Chain of Command? I was approached by a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (E-7), outside my Chain of Command, who noticed that I had changed. He observed that I went from loving the military to not caring about anything. After being approached by this professional man who genuinely cared, it opened the flood gates. I finally broke down after months of attempting to handle the situation on my own with no success and told him what I had been dealing with on an almost daily basis. I was scared of my boss and no longer wanted to be subjected to his abuse and assaults.

My NCOIC purposefully set me up to be alone with him. And, his predator ways escalated over time. After assigning me to tasks that put me in isolated positions, he would then show up and make his move. For example, I was the warehouse manager, so he assigned me to clean up and organize the warehouse. I welcomed the challenge of the work but dreaded the isolated moments that he took advantage of. He grabbed me, pushed himself on me, groped me, and tried to force me to be physical and intimate with him. I would fight him off and fight back. I professionally, assertively, and angrily told him not to touch me on numerous occasions. He would not take no for an answer and he would get angry with me after I rejected his advances. I was told that I should feel privileged that he was interested in me, that I was a bitch, and that he didn’t want me anyway because I had small tits. So in addition to having my body violated, I was belittled and yelled at because I would not comply with his demands. This didn’t happen once or twice. This happened on numerous occasions, if not daily at times. He escalated over time and became more angry, sneaky, manipulative, and forceful.

Had this man not had control over my career, I would have ceased the behavior sooner. But because I was trying to safeguard my career while politely (and not so politely) trying to reject his advances, I was always scared that he would abuse his power. He had the power to write me up, talk bad about me to leadership, and hinder promotion, in addition to taking advantage of me. I felt like I was under his complete control and I worked every day trying to be perfect so that he could not use anything against me. Unfortunately, because he started to escalate and exhibit his behaviors in front of others, and no one said anything, it made me feel even more alone. I felt like I had nowhere to turn. I couldn’t turn to my Chain of Command because he was in my Chain of Command. I did not even think about reporting the sexual assaults to my Commander because the Chain of Command was so adamant about resolving issues at the lowest level possible. I also knew that if I reported this man for sexually assaulting me that my career would be over. And, in fact it was.

Everyone in my Chain of Command was informed after I reported the assault. It was protocol to keep my supervisor, the Chief, the Officer-in-Charge, and the perpetrator informed at all times. The Commander knew everything and it was his responsibility to keep the others in my Chain of Command informed with what was happening with one of their troops and the Superintendent of Maintenance. It was humiliating. And, instead of being supported through the process, I was judged, isolated, and basically run out. During the investigation, I was transferred out of the squadron. I agreed to the transfer because I could no longer handle being under the control of my NCOIC or in the same room with him. He had assaulted me on so many occasions that I was traumatized. I never knew when I was going to be put in a position where I had to fight him off. All I could think was why can’t I just come to work and work? Why do I have to deal with this? How do I make it stop?

The enacting of the STOP Act would provide me with a place to turn to, someone to advocate for me, and emotional help. Although my Commander did the best he could to investigate the situation professionally, it put all parties involved in a difficult position. Most crimes are investigated by professionals who went to school to learn the art of investigation, forensics, and crime scene analysis. Commanders have a full-time job with their existing responsibilities, let alone investigating a sexual assault claim. At the time, there was no help for me. It was so unbelievable to me that I would get assaulted by another in uniform, prove this, and not be offered any kind of mental health services. As a matter of fact, I had to pay for these services out of pocket. And because I was having such a hard time coping with the assaults, coping with the long, drawn out investigation process, and then coping with the retaliatory behavior by others in the Squadron, I was devastated. I had no choice but to turn to a professional for help. I had never been exposed to this kind of behavior and quite frankly didn’t even know what it was.

The STOP Act will hold perpetrators accountable, investigate the crimes, prosecute fairly, and provide checks and balances in the system. If this felony crime wasn’t so devastating, we would not have to create a special office to handle it but it is. It is not only devastating to the victim but to the Squadron or Unit as a whole. Morale was turned upside down after I reported the crime and the Commander launched an investigation. It was a small unit and the rumor mill started almost immediately. I was so ashamed of what had occurred that I was not interested in talking about the situation with anyone. Quite frankly, it was embarrassing and I wanted to put it behind me and move on. Unfortunately, others became fearful of me because they were not aware of what truly occurred. They were told that they had to be careful around me, that I was a troublemaker, and that I was a traitor. I never expected that response. I never expected that I would be betrayed in that way.

I would have preferred that the investigation be handled outside the Squadron. I would have preferred that the case be handled discreetly. I would have preferred that I was offered mental health services. I would have preferred that both of us leave the squadron to prevent one or the other from talking about the circumstances in order to gain support. Removing the investigation from the Chain of Command would have changed the entire dynamic of the situation. The STOP Act emphasizes an importance on human rights, discourages criminal activity, encourages professionalism in the investigation, ensures the best possible outcome for a conviction that holds up, and prevents others from becoming a victim of that perpetrator as well. Criminal investigations are handled by the professionals in the civilian world, there is no reason why they shouldn’t be handled by professionals in the military as well. The STOP Act would create a legal entity that specializes in the investigation and prosecution of these predators. The STOP Act would hold predators responsible and accountable for their criminal activity. Sexual assault and rape is not only a felony crime but it is a human rights issue. The STOP Act will protect our defenders too.