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Friday, July 07, 2006

The White Lie that cannot stand scrutiny.

A stick points in one direction …until you walk around to
The Other Side!

“The Coast Guard Academy vs. Cadet Webster Smith.”

What you are about to read is the truth. Other than where identified as speculative, the details of this communication are the facts and are without dispute. Any twisting, spinning, or other orchestrated contortions are merely attempts to further the Coast Guard’s (speculative) cover up that will yet be exposed. The United States Coast Guard and specifically certain senior officers who were/are in the direct Chain of Command of the Superintendent of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Admiral Van Sice, acted to violate the civil rights of Cadet Smith by circumventing the rules of due process in order to silence Cadet Smith and discredit him.

Cadet Smith was ordered not to participate in normal academic and military pursuits from December 4th 2005, and informed that he was the focus of an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct involving him and several complaining female cadets. He was to be kept apart from the corps of cadets during the initial investigation because he was a perceived threat to the female (other) cadets.
1. Anyone would agree that at the beginning stages it would be prudent to isolate even a perceived sexual predator from those that he may prey upon. From either side of the “stick” the view would be the same to any reasonable person.
2. However, the view quickly begins to change when one looks at the phrase perceived threat and examines the facts. What gave the perception… in the beginning it was the unsubstantiated reports of the female cadets. The facts are these…
o None of the complaining witnesses stated that they were fearful of Cadet Smith.
o None of the complaining witnesses stated that he (Smith) had ever forced himself on them.
o None of the complaining witness stated that Cadet Smith had in any way threatened them.
3. When is the perceived threat no longer a threat? … The Answer … WHEN NO ONE IS THREATENED!


The Coast Guard’s actions at this juncture should have been to allow Cadet Smith to continue going to class and to attend class while the claims of regulation violations were continued to be investigated.
Instead the Coast Guard
1. reinforced the order by directing Cadet Smith to perform manual labor during the academic class periods and
2. lodged him off the academy grounds, reinforcing that he was not to have any communication with other cadets; which included:
a. physical contact;
b. telephone,
c. email,
d. instant messaging, or
e. conventional mail correspondence.

Official charges were not made until February 8th 2006. This means that from December 4th 2005 to February 8th 2006, the Coast Guard held to the perceived threat. The Fact is there was NO THREAT!
Not only was there no threat but (and this is another FACT) two of the girls never mentioned any sexual activity during the original interview with Coast Guard Investigation Agents.

You may ask, why would they do that?
The answer is simple… to cover or protect someone(s) or something. Who or what becomes the question. The disposition of the original sexually-based charges will help elucidate.

The below chart contains all sexually-based charges brought in the original charge sheet dated February 9th 2006, compiled from the investigation into the original witness allegations.
The numbered columns represent the disposition at each judicial forum… with the furthest right entry being the final disposition of that particular charge.

1. Article 32 hearing (equivalent of a civilian Grand Jury hearing)
2. Admiral Van Sice’s recommendation for disposition based on the results provided to him by the Article 32 hearing officer’s report and recommendation.
3. Court Martial jury verdict

As you can see, without exception, all of the original sexually-based allegations were either dismissed prior to the court martial due to the hearing officer’s recommendation or resulted in a not guilty verdict at trail. Again, these are the facts and they are a matter of court record. These were the charges that were used to keep Webster out of school, and keep him from continuing his education. Not only were they used to justify the Coast Guard actions in isolating Cadet Smith, they were used to vilify him in the media. Time does not allow me to list the negative press reports, leaks and attempts to paint Cadet Smith as a sexual predator. A trip to Goggle will support my point of view; make sure you look at the articles prior to the results of the Article 32 hearing … the spin changed after those results. The hearing took place in March 2006.
. 1. 2. 3.
Charge 3 Art 120- Rape Rape on June 4, 2005 Dismissal GCM Not Guilty
Charge 4 Art 125- Sodomy- Spec1 Commit sodomy on may 13, 2005 Dismissal Dismissal
Charge 4 Art 125- Sodomy- Spec2 Commit sodomy on November 12, 2005 GCM GCM Not Guilty
Charge 5 Art 128- Assault- Spec 1 Grab arm and kiss on May 10, 2005 GCM GCM Not Guilty
Charge 5 Art 128- Assault- Spec 2 Kiss and touch on May 10, 2005 Dismissal Dismissal
Charge 5 Art 128- Assault- Spec 3 Grab her buttocks on May 10, 2005 Dismissal Dismissal
Charge 5 Art 128- Assault- Spec 4 Rub leg with hands on November 26, 2005 Dismissal Dismissal
Charge 6 Art 134- Indecent Assault- Spec 1 Assault with intent to commit sodomy- force her to look at penis on November 5, 2005 Dismissal Dismissal
Charge 6 Art 134- Indecent Assault- Spec 2 Unlawful entry of her room on may 10, 2005 Dismissal Dismissal
Charge 6 Art 134- Indecent Assault- Spec 3 Unlawful entry of her room on November 26, 2005 Dismissal Dismissal
Charge 6 Art 134- Indecent Assault- Spec 4 Unlawful entry of her room august thru October NJP GCM Not
Guilty
Charge 6 Art 134- Indecent Assault- Spec 5 Indecent assault- sticking his finger in her vagina on may 10, 2005 Dismissal Dismissal
Charge 6 Art 134- Indecent Assault- Spec 6 Indecent assault- sticking his finger in her vagina on May 13, 2005 Dismissal Dismissal
Charge 6 Art 134- Indecent Assault- Spec 7 Indecent assault- sticking his finger in her vagina on November 7, 2005 Dismissal Dismissal
GCM = General Court Martial = Trial
NJP = Non Judicial punishment

The above charges were formulated from the original allegations (by the way, Cadet Smith denied any wrong doing throughout the ordeal). Reviewing the facts thus far we have:
1. Allegations of sexual misconduct
2. No statements that included any communication of physical threats or force
3. No statements that included any communication that any female cadet was fearful of Cadet Smith
4. No statements by Cadet Smith implicating himself
5. The final disposition of the original charges as tabled above
6. Webster Smith being kept out of class and away from the corps of cadets for months

I will assume that certain reader’s are asking themselves WHERE WAS THE THREAT! That was the same question that Cleon Smith, Cadet Smith’s father (Class of '78 USCGA) asked the then Commandant of Cadets Douglas Wiseniewski, one week prior to February 9th and the official charging of his son. To be specific the elder Smith was very upset and challenged Wiseniewski demanding that he be told what the threat was that his son represented. Wiseniewski refused to respond to Smith. At which point Smith told Wiseniewski that he believed his son was being railroaded and that “you leave me no choice but to escalate this matter”. Wiseniewski informed Smith that he would no longer communicate to him and that any information on his son’s case would be provided by the Coast Guard legal department.

We can now add that it was obvious to the elder Smith and to his circle of advisors that something was terribly wrong and that the Academy had ulterior motives.

But what were their motives:

Could it be?
1. That the alleged rape victim was schedule to assume the “Top Cadet” Leadership Position; and that she was approved by the Academy command staff. That when confronted with the true story of her being pregnant over the summer months they needed to justify this by saying she was raped. Although this ended up being the story she told, she initially did not provide this information when question by Coast Guard Investigators.
a. The fact is she had consensual sex with her long term boyfriend Cadet Webster Smith during the summer and became pregnant.
b. The fact is after their break up she warned him never to tell anyone about her pregnancy.
c. The fact is she found out just days before the allegation were made that he (Smith) had spoken to a command staff officer about her pregnancy.
d. The fact is the alleged incident took place in June and no report was made until December, and on the heels of her finding out that Smith had spoken to a command officer.
2. Could it be Cadet Smith’s consensual sexual intercourse with the Academy Dean of Academic’s daughter? By the way the Dean and the Commandant of Cadets were classmates in the Class of '79. Do not bother to look for her on the charge sheet, somehow she was left out.
3. Could it be the threat posed by Cadet Smith was not what he did … but rather… WHO HE DID!

I will leave the reader to determine what he or she believes is true. By the way the jury obviously did not believe any of the above sexual charges were true. However, the Coast Guard has done an extremely good job of painting Cadet Smith as a rapist and sexual predator. Even though none of the above charges were proven and the majority were dismissed out-right, prior to trial.

Moving forward … On March 8th the Coast Guard added 5 additional sexually-based charges (this comes a full one month after the original charges and three months after the original allegations).

Added charges 3/8/06 1. 2. 3.
Article 125- Sodomy Commit sodomy on October 19, 2005 GCM GCM Guilty
Article 127- Extortion Suppression of rumor for sexual favor on October 19, 2005 GCM GCM Guilty
Article 127- Extortion Suppression of rumor for sexual favor on November 12, 2006 GCM GCM Not Guilty
Article 134- Unlawful Entry Unlawful entry of her room on October 19, 2005 Dismissal Dismissal
Article 134- Indecent Assault Indecent assault- sticking his finger in vagina on October 19, 2005 GCM GCM Guilty
GCM = General Court Martial =Trial

Key to numbered columns:
1. Article 32 hearing (equivalent of a civilian Grand Jury hearing)
2. Admiral Van Sice’s recommendation for disposition based on the results provided to him by the Article 32 hearing officer’s report and recommendation.
3. Court Martial jury verdict

From the chart above we see that the Coast Guard was finally able to come up with some charges that they were able to get guilty verdicts on. They were sexual in nature and the specific acts are as listed. The guilty verdicts all involve the same female cadet (not one of the original complainants), a single incident, and the verdict was solely based on victim’s testimony of the events vs. the accused testimony of the events.

Those events surrounded a sexual liaison involving nude picture taking, and mutual oral sex. The government’s case was that Cadet Smith had potentially damaging information on his female classmate that he utilized to extort sexual favors from her. The facts are that Cadet Smith did receive information about his female cadet classmate … what was that information …
• That she was having a sexually relationship with an enlisted person … which is against cadet regulations.
• Cadet Smith defended her against these allegations when he heard others discussing the scandal.
• After being informed of additional information, Cadet Smith later he confronted her.
• The accuser then confessed to Cadet Smith the truth.

These points are in agreement by both parties.

He says he did not extort sexual favors from her, and that the sex that took place was consensual. The complainant states she never told him that she did not want to have sex with him. She went along with the picture taking and did not report the incident until sometime after the original charges had been filed. The two cadets were friends before and after the alleged incident. It was not until (speculation) the Coast Guard compelled (extorted – under threat of prosecution) her testimony that she came forward.

The question is what direction do you see the stick pointing!

Labels:

5 Comments:

Blogger watchdog2 said...

ALLEGED RAPE VICTIM IN COAST GUARD CASE
"CAN'T REMEMBER" SO-CALLED ATTACK BECAUSE
SHE WAS DRUNK - COURT-MARTIAL TESTIMONY
REVEALS SHE WENT TO CONCERT WITH CADET
WEBSTER SMITH NEXT NIGHT AFTER CLAIMED
"DATE RAPE" - EVEN HAD SEX WITH HIM AGAIN
ANOTHER FEMALE ACCUSER ADMITS POSING
FOR NAKED PIX - GAVE "ATTACKER" MASSAGE
BUT PROSECUTION STILL PUSHES FOR
"POLITICALLY-CORRECT" TRIAL DESPITE
DAMAGE TO GENUINE CASES OF SEX ASSAULT

Let's switch things around for a moment. How about this? A female cadet at the Coast Guard Academy is accused of "raping" and "assaulting" a minority-member male at the New London, Conn service school? We know, highly unlikely. But stay with us for a few paragraphs. Please. We'll get to our point, soon enough.

The male "victim" can't remember much. He was admittedly drunk because he downed two bottles of wine and "blacked out." At least that's what he says. And the accuser admits under cross-examination that he did go out on a date with his attacker the very next night. In fact, he admits they had sex again, after the so-called rape. In addition, he acknowledges that he posed for nude pictures taken by another female "attacker." The poor, helpless cadet even testified he gave his "attacker" back rubs, and she him. Followed by mutual oral sex. [That's what the military likes to call, hold on to your hats, gang, "sodomy." Let's bring down the fire and brimstone, now! Amen, brother.]

Next, the (let's say) Caucasion male says his African-American "attacker" had "date raped," him, at least he "thinks" she did. Duh! Well, that's what his pals and military investigators told him, anyway. In light of all this, what would be the accuser's credibility? Right. Close to zero.

WHAT'S REAL REASON FOR COAST GUARD'S FIRST-EVER COURT-MARTIAL?

Now, let's switch the genders and races around and what do you have? The first court-martial in Coast Guard history. Could it be that certain brass hats have their noses out of joint that a big, black male cadet cut such a wide sexual swath with the white females at the Academy?

Did they reason that, hiding behind the cover of "political correctness," they could teach Webster Smith, and others like him, a lesson, and make themselves look like enlighted feminists in the process?

In the Smith case, it's important to pay attention to the testimony of his female accusers, one who admitted the following: that on the night of the "assault," she went to Webster's room (not the other way around) on three separate occasions. First, to take a naked photo with him. Then to give and receive a body massage. And third, to have sex. To wit, he performing oral sex on her and she reciprocating on him. Wow! That was a brutal crime! Sound the alarm bells! Call out the National Guard and the KKK!

The woman lamely claimed that she felt "pressured" to do all that because Smith was supposedly keeping a "secret" for her - something that could have "damaged" her Coast Guard career. She claimed he told her he needed "motivation" to keep the secret.

"I didn't know what he would do," moaned the female cadet. But during cross -examination, she didn't come off quite so innocent and naive. No "Rebecca from Sunnybrook Farm" is she. No way.

The woman acknowledged she never resisted, even verbally, when the nude pictures were taken, the backrubs given, and the mutual oral sex exchanged.

"He didn't force you to do anything, did he?" Navy Lt. Stuart Kirby, Webster's defense attorney, probed.

"No, sir, " she replied.

CREDIBILITY PROBLEMS WITH OTHER FEMALE ACCUSERS

The other accusers have similar, shaky recollections. One rape victim, the "on-again, off-again" girlfriend of Webster, says she can't recall any alleged sex with the cadet on a class field trip to Annapolis, Md. because she was "passed out" from drinking booze.

Ah, but the prosecution contends the female cadet was too drunk to "consent" to sex. However, other testimony indicates the amount of alcohol allegedly consumed was greatly exagerrated by the woman and that the sex was "consensual" between the then-girlfriend and boyfriend.

What a terrific, iron-clad case these brilliant Coast Guard lawyers have brought forward! In any civilian court in America they'd be tossed out on their ear. But we know that for uniformed service members, "innocent until proven guilty" is actually "guilty until proven innocent" in the Alice-in-Wonderland world of military injustice. Common sense and credibility count for little in the Webster case. It's the prosecutors who should be on trial. But we know that won't ever happen, don't we?

And this is why a court-martial has been convened, the first one in the Coast Guard's 130 year history? Whichever way these proceedings come out, the Coast Guard is going to get a black eye. Way to go, guys!

HURTING THE CASES OF GENUINE SEXUAL ASSAULT

It's cases like the above that seriously damage prosecution of genuine cases of rape and assault. The credibility of the accuser is always questioned in these types of trials. What does it do to help stop the very real problem of sexual assault against females in the military when those who would try and ignore such crimes can point to a farce like the Webster court-martial?

We know of a retired Navy petty officer first class in Maine who would like to get a little justice. She deserves it. But she never got it. Not from the Navy or the VA, who rate her at only 50% disabled from trauma (a form of PTSD) related to her Navy service.

This highly-competent sailor, a cinch for promotion to "chief" if the playing field had been level, left the Navy after more than twenty years with nothing but horrible memories of how her real attacker got away while she was retaliated on for blowing the whistle.

When JM was new to the Navy, she underwent a physical examination by a male doctor who decided he was going to do a pelvic exam that wasn't according to regulation. The frightened young woman knew one thing. Her word against an officer back then - the 1970's - wouldn't count for much. She just wanted to get away from him. He'd warned her when she complained that it wouldn't be a good idea to "accuse" him of anything.

Fast forward to years later. Her attacker is now a lieutenant commander and lo and behold this PO1's new "boss." She begged the Navy to transfer her, for obvious reasons, but they wouldn't. In fact, despite her many accomplishments and excellent performance evaluations prior to coming under control of her former Navy doctor, JM never got her deserved promotion to chief petty officer. Could it be because she dared complain about being thrown together with this creep again?

It's situations like the Webster case that undermine and erode the credibility of truthful complainants like the above-mentioned PO1. She has to live the rest of her life knowing the Navy denied her justice. Specious and flimsy cases like the Coast Guard one we have reported here do nothing to help people like JM, a genuine victim.



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CADET FACES COURT MARTIAL - FIRST EVER
AT NEW LONDON, CONN. SERVICE ACADEMY
LINEBACKER ON FOOTBALL TEAM ACCUSED OF
RAPE AND OTHER CHARGES - VICTIM ALLEGED
TO HAVE BEEN ASSAULTED WHILE PASSED-OUT
FROM BOOZE AT ALL-NIGHT DRINKING PARTY

7:41 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006 · Last updated 1:57 p.m. PT

Coast Guard Academy vows to fight attacks

By MATT APUZZO
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER

NEW LONDON, Conn. -- The first female commandant of cadets at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy pledged a tough stance against campus sexual violence Wednesday following a court-martial in which cadets testified that such issues were not taken seriously.

Such attacks are "just reprehensible and I do not want to graduate a cadet into the Coast Guard as a junior officer who is a perpetrator of sexual assault," Capt. Judith Keene said in an interview at her new office.

Keene, who was among the first women to graduate from the academy, takes over as the military equivalent of the dean of students at a tumultuous time. She replaces Capt. Douglas Wisniewski, who left for a position in Washington this year when his term as commandant expired.

A senior cadet was convicted of sexual assault and extortion last month in the school's first student court-martial. Witnesses discussed heavy drinking and carousing and a culture in which some female cadets were hesitant to come forward with assault allegations.

That case, along with a former cadet's allegations that the academy mishandled her assault claim and a mother's concerns that her daughter's rape allegation was not adequately addressed, led some in Congress to request a review of the school's policies.

Keene, who was named to the position before any of these issues surfaced, said that although the school's policies are solid, the academy needs to send a consistent message to cadets that sexual assault won't be tolerated.


"They'll not only be hearing it from me and my staff," she said. "I expect them to hear it in their classes. I expect them to hear it from their coaches. I expect them to hear it when they're down in medical."

She said her administration will work hard to be approachable for women who have been assaulted.

With about 950 cadets, the school is the smallest U.S. service academy. Women represent about 30 percent of cadets, compared with less than 20 percent at the Air Force and Naval Academies and about 15 percent at West Point.

10:45 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Bullying feminists ruin another man.

US Coast Guard (USCG) Cadet Webster Smith was acquitted of rape today, but was convicted of other chareges associated with another USCG female cadet. Four women had chaged Cadet Smith with a variety of sexual misconduct charges. The most serious was of raping his on and off (pun intended) girl friend, another USCG cadet. The genesis of the charges was a weekend in Annapolis where both he and his girl friend drank heavily. Some time after that weekend she filed a report accusing him of rape. During the investigation three other female cadets came forward with other incidents resulting in additional charges. During testimony both admitted to having sex the next morning and then again later that evening. They even continued their relationship after she filed charges. There was some talk that she had become pregnant, but she chose to not carry the baby to full term. (Euphemism intended.)

Other incidents included unwanted kissing, acquitted. Unwanted oral sex, acquitted. The original rape charge, acquitted. And, the charge that stuck, from the Courant,
The guilty verdicts were returned on the counts of extortion, indecent assault and sodomy involved his conduct with a cadet, now an ensign, who alleged Smith had come to her room on three occasions the night of Oct. 19, 2005.

The visits progressed from taking nude photographs to massages to oral sex. She said she had confided in Smith about something she had done during the summer that could hurt her military career. Smith offered to help her squelch rumors about the incident, but, the prosecution argued, he also used the secret to coerce her into the sexual encounters.
Penalties range from a federal conviction on his record to as much as 13 years seven months in federal prison.

I've mentioned the attitudes of the female mids and cadets before in "A problem? What do you think?" The problem is that females tend to gang up and begin bullying, but female bullying is much different than male bullying.
Girls tend to bully indirectly, by isolating their victims or assaulting them through teasing and verbal backstabbing. ...Girls, on the other hand, value relationships, so girl bullies target relationships by spreading rumors, for example, to socially isolate the victim. In other words, they get 'em where it hurts.
Spreading rumors is a euphemism for lying. Sure y'all knew that! Getting together? Phone records were considered important enough for the prosecution to have collected them for the female cadets' phone. Evidently the defense attornies did not feel they could use them in the trial; although, they claimed collusion. Perhaps, an oversight?

So, after even another dubious claim of rape we see another man's life eviscerated with other non-related claims. Did they collude and gang up on him? I think so! What do you think?

Update I: Having a night to sleep on this case and its findings, I am even more upset. If there had never been the first irrational claim none of this would have happened. Reports were that one of the women left the courtroom crying. Which of his accusers do you think felt so guilty?
Commander Salamander has his own outlook on the case.

Update II: Smith gets six months.

posted by Counter-Revolutionary at 7:27 PM

5:33 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

WHAT'S REAL REASON FOR COAST GUARD'S FIRST-EVER COURT-MARTIAL?

What is the real reason for the first court-martial in Coast Guard history. Could it be that certain brass hats have their noses out of joint that a big, Black male cadet cut such a wide sexual swath with the white females at the Academy?

Did they reason that, hiding behind the cover of "political correctness," they could teach Webster Smith, and others like him, a lesson, and make themselves look like enlighted feminists in the process?

In the Smith case, it's important to pay attention to the testimony of his female accusers, one who admitted the following: that on the night of the "assault," she went to Webster's room (not the other way around) on three separate occasions. First, to take a naked photo with him. Then to give and receive a body massage. And third, to have sex. To wit, he performing oral sex on her and she reciprocating on him. Wow! That was a brutal crime! Sound the alarm bells! Call out the National Guard and the KKK!

The woman lamely claimed that she felt "pressured" to do all that because Smith was supposedly keeping a "secret" for her - something that could have "damaged" her Coast Guard career. She claimed he told her he needed "motivation" to keep the secret.

"I didn't know what he would do," moaned the female cadet. But during cross -examination, she didn't come off quite so innocent and naive. No "Rebecca from Sunnybrook Farm" is she. No way.

The woman acknowledged she never resisted, even verbally, when the nude pictures were taken, the backrubs given, and the mutual oral sex exchanged.

"He didn't force you to do anything, did he?" Navy Lt. Stuart Kirby, Webster's defense attorney, probed.

"No, sir, " she replied.

CREDIBILITY PROBLEMS WITH OTHER FEMALE ACCUSERS

The other accusers have similar, shaky recollections. One rape victim, the "on-again, off-again" girlfriend of Webster, says she can't recall any alleged sex with the cadet on a class field trip to Annapolis, Md. because she was "passed out" from drinking booze.

Ah, but the prosecution contends the female cadet was too drunk to "consent" to sex. However, other testimony indicates the amount of alcohol allegedly consumed was greatly exagerrated by the woman and that the sex was "consensual" between the then-girlfriend and boyfriend.

What a terrific, iron-clad case these brilliant Coast Guard lawyers have brought forward! In any civilian court in America they'd be tossed out on their ear. But we know that for uniformed service members, "innocent until proven guilty" is actually "guilty until proven innocent" in the Alice-in-Wonderland world of military injustice. Common sense and credibility count for little in the Webster case. It's the prosecutors who should be on trial. But we know that won't ever happen, don't we?

And this is why a court-martial has been convened, the first one in the Coast Guard's 130 year history? Whichever way these proceedings come out, the Coast Guard is going to get a black eye. Way to go, guys!

HURTING THE CASES OF GENUINE SEXUAL ASSAULT

It's cases like the above that seriously damage prosecution of genuine cases of rape and assault. The credibility of the accuser is always questioned in these types of trials. What does it do to help stop the very real problem of sexual assault against females in the military when those who would try and ignore such crimes can point to a farce like the Webster court-martial?

We know of a retired Navy petty officer first class in Maine who would like to get a little justice. She deserves it. But she never got it. Not from the Navy or the VA, who rate her at only 50% disabled from trauma (a form of PTSD) related to her Navy service.

This highly-competent sailor, a cinch for promotion to "chief" if the playing field had been level, left the Navy after more than twenty years with nothing but horrible memories of how her real attacker got away while she was retaliated on for blowing the whistle.

When JM was new to the Navy, she underwent a physical examination by a male doctor who decided he was going to do a pelvic exam that wasn't according to regulation. The frightened young woman knew one thing. Her word against an officer back then - the 1970's - wouldn't count for much. She just wanted to get away from him. He'd warned her when she complained that it wouldn't be a good idea to "accuse" him of anything.

Fast forward to years later. Her attacker is now a lieutenant commander and lo and behold this PO1's new "boss." She begged the Navy to transfer her, for obvious reasons, but they wouldn't. In fact, despite her many accomplishments and excellent performance evaluations prior to coming under control of her former Navy doctor, JM never got her deserved promotion to chief petty officer. Could it be because she dared complain about being thrown together with this creep again?

It's situations like the Webster case that undermine and erode the credibility of truthful complainants like the above-mentioned PO1. She has to live the rest of her life knowing the Navy denied her justice. Specious and flimsy cases like the Coast Guard one we have reported here do nothing to help people like JM, a genuine victim.

MILITARYCORRUPTION.COM
Fighting for the truth.
Exposing the corrupt.

11:52 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Coast Guard Academy to require females on sex assault cases
By Matt Apuzzo, Associated Press Writer | February 22, 2006

NEW LONDON, Conn. --The U.S. Coast Guard Academy, criticized for its handling of a former cadet's sexual assault allegation, will require female officers or counselors be included in future investigations, an administrator said Wednesday.
Capt. Douglas Wisniewski said the academy had been considering the policy changes before cadet Webster Smith was formally accused this month of sexual assault and before 20-year-old Caitlin Stopper of New Jersey came forward last week to accuse male administrators of suggesting she was to blame for a separate assault she reported.

"We've got good policies," said Wisniewski, the commandant of cadets at the academy. "It just needs to be refined and we need to do some better training."

In the Smith case, a group of women told officers that they had been assaulted, Wisniewski said. The academy responded immediately, he said, removing Smith from the barracks and beginning a criminal investigation.

Smith would be the first sexual assault court martial on record at the academy, the school said. He is accused of raping or assaulting six cadets on and off campus.

Women were involved in that inquiry, but no women were included in Stopper's investigation, which cited a male student for making inappropriate comments but did not corroborate claims that he groped her in a campus lounge.

After she told her story, some members of Congress, including some of the Coast Guard's strongest supporters, suggested female officers or counselors be required to help handle sexual assault cases.

U.S. Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C., a former Coast Guard officer who serves on the congressional board overseeing the school, said the Coast Guard has a reputation as the most female-friendly academy, but should use the Smith case as an opportunity to publicly reevaluate its policies.

U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Fla., said she was preparing a letter asking the academy how it addresses campus assaults.

The Coast Guard Academy trains a group of cadets that others are encouraged to turn to if they are assaulted. Victims can also approach teachers or administrators. They can come forward anonymously or publicly and, according to the school's policies, are offered counseling and guidance whether they choose to have an investigation or not.

"Women here feel comfortable coming forward," said Stephanie Young, a third-year cadet who helps lead the peer support group.

Stopper, who left school last winter, said the academy atmosphere discouraged assault allegations. The school disputes many of her claims, including that she was not offered counseling. But Wisniewski said he feels bad because Stopper truly feels she was mistreated.

Nearly 150 women described a similar atmosphere in 2004 at the Air Force Academy in Colorado. A Pentagon review found hostile attitudes also persisted at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the Naval Academy.

Women represent about 30 percent of Coast Guard Academy cadets, compared to less than 20 percent at the Air Force and Naval Academies and about 15 percent at West Point. After the Air Force investigation, the academy assigned a female officer to handle assault allegations.

U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro and John Larson, D-Conn., said the Smith case proves that the system works. They also said the academy should reassure the public that assault victims will be treated fairly.

"We've made tremendous gains, but we're going to reverse that if women feel like, if they're sexually assaulted at Coast Guard, they can't come forward," DeLauro said.

Some current students openly doubted Stopper's claims. Others said they didn't know what to believe. Brad Clemons, a member of the peer support groups, said the two cases could be good for the academy.

"If it's being reported now, it was happening in the past like on any other college campus," Clemons said. "If it doesn't get reported, it can't get fixed."

Wisniewski said he's proud of the academy's female-friendly reputation and said the school wants to be open about its policies. He expects Smith's military hearing next month will be open to the public.

U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M., graduated from the Air Force Academy and said perception on campus is even more important than the courtroom outcome.

"When the victim makes that first report, how does that person she's reporting to respond?" Wilson said. "Are they supportive, make sure they get help, respect confidentiality? Those things make officer candidates feel like, if something goes wrong, the system will take care of it."

© Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

12:06 PM  

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