Marine Sexual Assaults

March 7, 2012 by staff 

Marine Sexual Assaults, Eight current and former U.S. service members filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging they were raped, sexually assaulted or harassed while serving in the military and were retaliated against once they reported the abuse.

Among the defendants named in the suit are current and former Defense and Navy secretaries and Marine Corps commandants.

“Although defendants testified before Congress and elsewhere that they have ‘zero tolerance’ for rape and sexual assault, their conduct and the facts demonstrate the opposite: They have a high tolerance for sexual predators in their ranks, and ‘zero tolerance’ for those who report rape, sexual assault and harassment,” according to the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington.

The suit outlines a pattern of abuse and portrays, in grim detail, the alleged experiences of the eight female service members — two former Marine Corps officers, one active duty enlisted Marine, one former enlisted member of the Marine Corps and four former enlisted members of the Navy.

“At first it was easy to laugh it off,” plaintiff Elle Helmer, one of the former officers, said about her superiors’ advances.

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