Navy sailor says her rapists are still serving, urges action to fix military justice system

Posted at 8:01 PM, May 16, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-17 14:30:06-04

Norfolk, Va. - "There are sexual predators running around right now in the Navy.”

A woman says she has first-hand knowledge. This sailor didn't want to show her face, but came forward to NewsChannel 3 to tell her story about being gang-raped by several sailors and a civilian at an off-base military housing complex in Norfolk.

“I was in a dark room, they were on top of me, one of them was holding me down, the other one was having intercourse with me.”

She had the courage to report the assault, checking into Naval Medical Center Portsmouth the next day.

Nurses were able to do a forensic exam, and NCIS confirms to NewsChannel 3 they opened an investigation into her case.

That was May 20th, 2012.

One year later, her attackers have yet to be charged.

After NCIS finished the investigation, she says the case ended up in the hands of the Region Legal Service Office.

“They said they are doing their own investigation to make sure there is even enough to prosecute.”

This sailor just doesn’t understand the hold up.

“I had bruises on my body, cigarette burns. There is forensic evidence, forensic evidence does not lie.”

In addition, the decision on if this case goes to court-martial will ultimately end up in the hands of a commanding officer she had never met.

“The Commanding Officer has a right to overrule NCIS, and that’s a huge problem. They need to take it outside the military.”

As it turns out, a group of female United States Senators actually agree with her, and are taking action to do just that.

The bill, introduced Thursday, would take the power to prosecute serious sexual assaults out of the military chain of command.

It would allow the service chiefs to set up special courts, juries and judges specifically for sexual assault cases.

This sailor can only hope her story helps sway lawmakers to pass the bill.

“Nobody should have to go through this. That’s why I want to speak out, this is currently happening in the military and it needs to stop.”


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