Lt. Col. Teresa James Shares Experience with Sexual Assault & Reprisal at DoD IG Worldwide Hotline Outreach Conference (July 28, 2016)

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 12.35.17 PM

The Department of Defense Inspector General’s office held a Worldwide Hotline Outreach Conference today July 28, 2016. One of their keynote speakers was Lt Col Teresa James, US Army, Retired, highlighted before on this site. The DoD IG twitter feed shared excerpts from her presentation summarized below. As she spoke, I tweeted with them to bring awareness to the specifics that Lt Col James noted and why they are so important. For a complete listing of the tweets by the DoD IG, please visit their Twitter feed here.

Continue reading

United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals Upheld United States v. Jane Neubauer, US Air Force (2016)

Retaliation

On March 10, 2016 the United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals upheld United States v. Jane Neubauer, United States Air Force. Is this another case of federal government overreach and denial of due process rights? I think John Q Public‘s assessment of this case speaks volumes of the real issues behind the Command directed prosecution of an airman who blew the whistle after being recruited as an Office of Special Investigations (OSI) confidential informant. The same OSI office she exposed ended up investigating and assisting with her prosecution. This is yet another example of the importance of letting an impartial law enforcement official and prosecutor make decisions about whether to investigate, who should investigate, who to investigate, and whether or not they have the evidence to move forward with a case. The moment a military member asks for an attorney, all criminal justice communications with Commanders and their investigators must cease. Every accused military member should be represented by counsel and afforded their due process rights throughout the entire investigation including collection of evidence. Learn more about your due process rights here.

“There have been many sexual assault accusations far less credible than the accusation made by this Airman. Many that were enthusiastically pursued by prosecutors despite their frailty … many that did not result in disciplinary actions when they were revealed to have been false.

So, what was so special about this accusation?

Well, she was an OSI informant, and the situation cast OSI in an extremely negative light at a time when the OSI informant program was already under fire. The same organization that recruited her right out of BMT to help investigate drug activity at Keesler AFB conducted the investigation that eventually resulted in her prosecution.

If she’s wrong … if she’s bad … if she’s a liar … then obviously she’s the problem. She’ll absorb the negative attention and culpability … leaving OSI and its shady actions in this debacle comfortably out of the limelight.

Another example of prosecutorial inconsistency and arbitrariness in the USAF … demonstrating that it’s not operating an impartial justice system, but a score-settling control device on behalf of the chain of command.” ~John Q Public

Related Links:
United States v. Airman Basic Jane M. Neubauer, United States Air Force
Spies, Lies, and Rape in the Air Force: An Undercover Agent’s Story
Undercover Agent Says the Air Force Is Retaliating Against Her After She Was Raped
Air Force undercover informant claims she is being hounded out of the service after being raped while trying to root out drug rings
Gillibrand Reacts to Air Force Rape Case First Reported by The Daily Beast
The Pentagon’s shameful culture of sexual assault can still be uprooted
Air Force Charges Ex-Informant With Lying About Her Rape
Keesler Air Force Base ex-informant loses appeal
Former Air Force informant who made false rape charge loses appeal
Former Air Force Informant Who Made False Rape Charge Loses Appeal
Honor and deception: A secretive Air Force program recruits academy students to inform on fellow cadets and disavows them afterward
Air Force Cadet’s Secret Story: I Blew the Whistle on Football Players and Sex Assaults
Hearing testimony reveals subterfuge of Air Force Academy informant program
Informant Debate Renewed as Air Force Revisits Cadet Misconduct
Air Force Academy: Please Reinstate Cadet Eric Thomas and Reform the Confidential Informant Program!

NBC Washington: 62 Percent of Military Sex Assault Reports Result in Retaliation (May 18, 2015)

Punishing the Victim Retaliation NBC Washington.jpg

“One of the women interviewed was Lt. Col. Teresa James, the highest ranking officer to come forward with a rape claim in the National Guard, according to a recent report by the Guard. The News4 I-Team first brought you her story when she said she believes her 34-year military career with the West Virginia National Guard was destroyed after she reported her rape. Lt. Col. James attended the news conference and told the I-Team, ‘There’s nothing else they can do to hurt me. They did everything they could possibly do. It’s effecting change. That’s why I’m out today. It’s effecting change, and if I have to speak it, shout it from the rooftops, that’s what I’m going to do.’ Read more from NBC Washington here.

Related Links:
Serving in Silence: Sex Assault Retaliation Complaints Investigated
62 Percent of Military Sex Assault Reports Result in Retaliation
Troops who report sexual assault face retaliation
Highlights of Army National Guard Lt. Col. Teresa James’ Military Sexual Assault and DoD IG Substantiated Retaliation Case
DoD Retaliation Prevention and Response Strategy: Regarding Sexual Assault and Harassment Reports
DoD Retaliation Prevention and Response Strategy Implementation Plan
Military Sex Assault Reports Edge Up; Retaliation Persists
DoD Releases Annual Report on Sexual Assault in Military
Department of Defense Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military
Military Sexual Assault Reports Are Up for the Seventh Year in a Row
Pentagon: Claims of Retaliation for Sexual Offense Complaints on Rise
Reports of Military Sexual Assault, Retaliation Increase
The Biggest Obstacle to the Pentagon’s War on Sexual Assault: The Military Justice System
Military sexual assault reports rise in 2017 but fewer servicemembers faced courts-martial
Sexual assault, harassment spikes at military academies, strategies fail to stem crisis
Reports of sexual assault in the military soar
Pentagon report shows sharp rise in military sexual assaults
Sexual assaults in military rise to more than 20,000, Pentagon survey says
“A cultural rot”: Sex assaults spike at U.S. service academies
Defense Department to make sexual harassment a crime
‘It was rape:’ Wisconsin Army National Guard officer Megan Plunkett says she was retaliated against, disciplined for reporting sexual assaults
Gabbard says ‘there is still a fear of retaliation’ in the military about reporting sexual assault
Senators Hirono, Gillibrand Reintroduce Legislation to Bring Justice to Survivors of Sexual Assault in the Military
Sexual assaults in the military are on the rise. This bill would authorize Congress to intervene
Sexual Assault in the Military | C-SPAN.org

Retired Marine Stephanie Schroeder Fights for Servicemember’s Rights at the United Nation’s Geneva Conventions (November 11, 2014)

Stephanie Schroeder addressing the United Nations

Marine veteran Stephanie Schroeder addressing the United Nations (November 11, 2014)

Stephanie Schroeder is a retired United States Marine Corps veteran who was wrongfully discharged from service after reporting a felony crime to USMC authorities. As a result of reporting these crimes, she experienced retaliation from her peers and leadership and was subsequently given a honorable discharge but her DD 214 indicated that she was released from duty due to a personality disorder. Stephanie sought justice to right a wrong committed by her leadership. She was never given any testing to determine if she in fact had a personality disorder nor did she see any medical personnel who would have had an opportunity to diagnose her with a personality disorder. Through research and determination, Stephanie learned that other veterans who had reported sexual assault in the military had also experienced retaliation in one form or another after reporting the crime(s) to leadership. She vowed to not only fight for herself and the correction of her records but also to help prevent other service members from experiencing the same.

Stephanie Schroeder has been leading the way on military retaliation & personality disorder discharge reform for years. She participated in two federal lawsuits (Cioca v Rumsfeld & Klay v Panetta) that were dismissed because rape is incident to service. She advocates for both the Stop Act (Sexual Assault Training, Oversight, and Prevention Act) sponsored by Representative Jackie Speier and the Military Justice Improvement Act sponsored by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. She represented victims of military sexual assault at the United Nations at the Geneva Conventions in Switzerland. She continues to represent Cornell University, Service Women’s Action Network, & Equality Now as an advocate before the United Nations and monitors/advises on sexual assault & retaliation policy implementation in the military. She is a board member for the United States Human Rights Network (USHRN) and the International Mechanisms Coordinating Committee Board (ICMM).

Related Links:
Stephanie Schroeder, USMC Veteran (Facebook)
Cioca v Rumsfeld First Amended Complaint Jury Demand
Military’s newly aggressive rape prosecution has pitfalls
Military Rape Speech 15 by Congresswoman Jackie Speier
Stephanie Schroeder’s military sex assault claim leads to psych discharge
Rape victims say military labels them ‘crazy’
The Military Labeling Rape Survivors as “Crazy” to Get Rid of Them?
Military May Be Gaslighting Sexual Assault Victims
Employers Gone Wild: U.S. military banishes rape victims with damning psychiatric diagnoses
‘Personality Disorder’ Discharge, Frequent Solution in Rising Number of Military Sexual Assault Cases
U.S. military banishes rape victims with damning psychiatric diagnoses
Fear of Reprisal: The Quiet Accomplice in the Military’s Sexual-Assault Epidemic
Now That Women Are Cleared For Combat, How About A Rape-Free Workplace?
Cioca v Rumsfeld US Court of Appeals Decision
Fear of Reprisal: The Quiet Accomplice in the Military’s Sexual-Assault Epidemic
Former Marine to Speak at Geneva Convention Against Sexual Abuse
Ex-Marine to speak at Geneva Convention against sexual abuse
Local Marine to speak against sexual abuse at Geneva Convention
UN Committee to Review Cornell Law Report on Sexual Violence in the U.S. Military
Building a U.S. Movement to End Torture
Powerful Stories from Directly Impacted Individuals at CAT Review
BARELY LEGAL: Sexual Violence in the U.S. Military
Exclusive: Victims of military sexual assault appeal to human rights panel
I’m a Military Sexual Assault Survivor & the US apologized at the Torture Review
Military Sexual Assault: Reporting and Rape Culture
Advice for Veterans with Military Sexual Trauma Claims
New rules on narcotic painkillers cause grief for veterans and VA
Davidson County veteran, victim of sexual assault changing the face of today’s military
8 women Marines define themselves within and beyond the uniform

NBC Bay Area: California National Guard Culture Questioned (November 14, 2012)

Whistleblowers expose hidden culture inside the California National Guard

Air National Guard SealBehind the Gates of the Guard

‘The California National Guard has a long history of serving the country in critical times of need. Its members have fought wildfires, responded to Hurricane Katrina and recently assisted with rescue efforts in super storm Sandy. It is a reserve military force of 23,000 guard members—the largest in the nation—where “integrity first” is a guiding principle. But a joint-investigation by NBC Bay Area and KNBC-TV in Los Angeles has uncovered a disturbing hidden culture in the California National Guard where some guard members say sexual assault and racism at times go unchecked, and where retaliation is a frequent method of discipline. During the past six months reporters spoke with nearly two dozen men and women from the California Guard who have found no solution inside and now want to expose what they say is the truth.”

Read more from NBC Bay Area here.

Related Links:
NBC Bay Area: California Guard Tries to Serve Firing Papers to Member After Suicide Attempt (June 25, 2013)
NBC Bay Area | Military Women: We Got Fired for Being Raped (August 21, 2014)
NBC Bay Area: California National Guard Military Sexual Assault Bill Becomes Law (August 21, 2014)

Army Lt. Col. Marshall Gutierrez Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Kuwait; CID Ruled Suicide in the Midst of Wide Spread Bribery Scheme Investigation (September 4, 2006)

Marshall Gutierrez

Lt. Col. Marshall Gutierrez, U.S. Army

Army Lt. Col. Marshall Gutierrez died of non combat related injuries in Camp Virginia, Kuwait on September 4, 2006. Lt. Col. Gutierrez was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom on behalf of the Area Support Group in Arijan, Kuwait. At the time of the Department of Defense press release, the incident was under investigation. The Army ruled Lt. Col. Gutierrez’ death a suicide by prescription pills and anti-freeze. Lt. Col. Gutierrez was initially a whistleblower in a wide spread bribery scheme in Kuwait but after he reported the illegal activity, he soon found himself accused of bribery by a Kuwaiti contractor. Reports indicate the allegations left his military career and his marriage in ruins. Three soldiers connected to the bribery scheme investigations allegedly committed suicide. Major Gloria Davis was a witness for the prosecution and was found dead of a gunshot wound in Iraq. Sgt. Denise Lannaman was also involved in the investigation and she was found dead of a gunshot wound in her jeep on post at Camp Arijan, Kuwait.

Related Links:
Obituary: Lt. Col. Marshall A. Gutierrez
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Army Lt. Col. Marshall A. Gutierrez
Camp Arifjan Bribe Scheme Nets 17 Convictions and Three Soldier Suicides
Inside the Greed Zone
Tainted by Corruption or an Innocent Victim?
The Price of US Army ‘Confidentiality’
The ODD Death of LTC Gutierrez
From Queens to Kuwait, Where a Life Was Ended
Kuwaiti Contractor Accused of Bilking Army
Kuwait-based military contractor wins court delay
PWC says whistleblower filed 40 ‘unsuccessful’ actions in Kuwaiti Courts
Defense contractor employee (Dorothy Ellis) pleads guilty to bribery
Halliburton’s Army: How a Well-Connected Texas Oil Company Revolutionized the Way America Makes War