19 in Military File Suit Over Alleged Rapes

Sep 28, 2012 - by - 0 Comments

(Newser) – Nineteen more current and past US military service members have filed suit over rapes they say were ignored by the military, the Daily Beast reports. After a lawsuit in March by eight women—and the conviction of an Air Force instructor this summer—these plaintiffs are suing past and present secretaries of defense for allegedly allowing a system to continue that violated the civil rights of sex assault victims. The main issue: allowing "a single officer to prevent a victim from accessing the military’s judicial system," says the lawsuit.

"The reality is that this officer may well be a sexual predator himself." Adding fuel to the fire are sex assault charges filed yesterday against a brigadier general: "He’s exactly the kind of person that was the intermediary between victims and the justice system," says Susan Burke, the lawyer who filed the lawsuit. "How many rape investigations did he pass on?" Two of the suit's plaintiffs have won convictions against their attackers in civilian court, but say the military violated their civil rights by ignoring their cases.

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