Sexual Assaults

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by JMC0759, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. JMC0759

    JMC0759 S-USMMA '12 D-USAFA '15

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  2. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    And a Plebe gets a weekend off during one of her first weekends at the Academy?
     
  3. d.mcknight

    d.mcknight Member

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    I read this the other day when one of my friends sent it to me. I'm not by any means saying that it was the fault of the two females involved that they were raped, but calling the military one giant fraternity that doesn't care about the well-being or issues of females is ridiculous. These two obviously made some poor decisions.

    They were both freshmen that decided to hang out with upperclassmen, which as I understand it for the academies, is considered fraternization. They also were drinking underage, another thing they certainly aren't supposed to be doing.

    Like I said, I'm not saying it is their fault they were the victims of rape, but I have a hard time buying that it is the complete fault/responsibility of the leadership that things like this happen.
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I too have a hard time with the story. Not because of the allegation, but because it's by CNN and I truly, from the bottom of my heart, don't believe that we are getting the entire story.

    Certain concerns I have according to the story.

    1. Freshman hanging out with upper classman
    2. Alcohol in the dormitory. (She said she was sick and stayed in her room then started drinking with the upper classman).
    3. Underage drinking
    4. 2nd person (Navy) says that all the WOMEN on the soccer team graduated and went on to become pilots and marine officers. But she says that once she started at the academy, she realized there was a bias towards women. Because of the "Fraternity". Then how did all those other "Strong Women" she claims, become pilots and marine officers.
    5. First few weekends at the academy, she was invited to an off-base party? Yea, right. A freshman off campus after a couple of weeks of getting there. Sure.

    There is way too much more to this story than what CNN wants you/us to know. They have proven time and time again that they will distort the truth. (Look at the Zimmerman/Martin case). I'm not saying these women weren't raped. I'm not saying that the allegations aren't valid. I'm not saying anything either way concerning the case. I am saying that the "CNN STORY" is total B.S. There is a lot more here that they don't want you to know. There's also a lot here that is incorrect in the way it was reported. (Or someone told CNN lies).

    And of course the military tends to be reactionary about such allegations and reports. (Hence Panetta's comments). Unfortunately, the Navy, Army, and Air Force will continue to get a black eye from these types of stories, because CNN and many other news sources are irresponsible with their journalism, and they don't report the entire truth or all of the facts. And unfortunately, most Americans are ignorant and will believe whatever the media tells them.
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Before I respond I would like d.mcknight to defend his comments. Just a woman, just a Mom, but I am having issues with what you posted.

    Fault to a woman is insinuating we had a choice and did not do enough to stop it.
    The girls made poor decisions to trust the upperclassmen, YES! What about the upperclassman?

    JMPO, but you placed it on the girls, and not the guys.
    So if I get you right the guys who have been at the SA for at least a yr and know the code of conduct are not responsible for approaching underclassmen? However, the girls who are new should have not shown respect and stood up to them?
    UMM, let's not argue who had the alcohol, let's go by the code. If an upperclassmen knows that an underage mid/cadet is drinking they are to report it.

    Again it appears you are saying they drank underage and knew they shouldn't, well so did the upperclassmen.
    Nobody ever said it was, the issue is why? Why didn't they know that underage drinking was occurring? Again, leave rape out, just acknowledge the alcohol. Are you going to defend underage drinking? Or are you going to say that they lied and no alcohol was part of the situation? If you acknowledge the alcohol you have to place fault/responsibility on the leadership! If you do not, than you are saying the female cadet/mid are lying because alcohol is in the equation.


    Sorry, but for me as a woman, and a Mom of a DD, your post scared me regarding how I perceived it.

    I am not in anyway, shape or form supporting these allegations. That is not my goal. I am saying that what I read from your post, you place blame on the female cadet/mids.

    I hope you come back and defend these girls with how the upperclassmen failed.

    Please re-read your post.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  6. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    IMO, I think d.mcknight was saying the women acted stupidly. That doesn't mitigate the fact that the men committed a violent felony.

    I agree with CC, that the story posted just doesn't add up to a full covering of the situation.
     
  7. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I can see this thread getting ugly quick.

    PIMA, I agree with your post 100%

    As far as having a problem believing alcohol in the dorms and under age drinking....have we forgotten the Spice scandal. If they can get Spice in the dorm they can sure sneak in alcohol.

    My only comment to Cristcorp is...Wow
     
  8. d.mcknight

    d.mcknight Member

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    First of all, I'm a female. I'm in no way, shape, or form saying that the upperclass involved are not to blame, because they are and should be held accountable for their actions.

    My whole issue with the article is that they are making the military out to be one giant frat where women are always just innocent victims. We just had a mandatory presentation at my current school where the main message was that all women fear men because the men are all potential rapists. I'm sorry, but both of these claims are absolutely ridiculous.

    On the subject of alcohol, I'm not defending underage drinking. No, the upperclass should not be offering alcohol to minors, but the minors did not have to take it.

    Did the upperclassmen fail? Yes, definitely. Were the underclass completely innocent bystanders? No.
     
  9. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Wow; as in good observation in the inconsistency of the article and lack of trust in the mainstream media?....... Or Wow; as in you don't agree with my observation and you believe totally in what CNN has reported, and that you have the whole story?
     
  10. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Lots of good discussion and a hot topic. I do agree that the story in the media is incomplete and we only get a glimpse of what really happened.

    Bottom line is these upperclassman are WRONG. As in any military environment, they are the senior members and crossed a line regarding fraternization, alcohol consumption, providing alcohol to underage, and total failure of leadership. Even if there were no sexual assault allegations, these offenses are bad enough on their own to warrant dismissal. There is no excuse for their actions and IMPO they should be removed from the Academy as they are not fit to be officers.

    As a female at the Academy, I heard about situations like these happening, some happened to my friends even. Yes, they are wrong and should not happen under any circumstances. Do they happen a great deal more at civilian universities? Probably, but we expect more of Cadets and Midshipmen as we should. And yes, alcohol in Mother B does happen and sex in the hall does happen. Both are rare and result in dismisal 9 times out of ten, but we are dealing with 18-23 year old kids for the most part who sometimes think they can outsmart the system and are invincible.

    Bottom line as a female who graduated from the Academy and had some fun myself, I recommend any female to be smart. I think this goes for female Midshipman or females at civilian universities also. Know who you are with, ensure you are with friends you trust, know your alcohol limits, and always have someone you trust remain sober and keep an eye on you (to be honest this goes for men also). Bottom line be situationally aware and know your surroundings. Lets face it, alcohol and hormones for 18-23 years old leads to less than stellar decision making.

    We will never truely know what happened in these situations. We hear about them in the media and all of them generally revolve around the consumption of too much alcohol by parties. Bottom line is these male Mids were wrong. These young ladies put themselves in a precarious position, yet that does not excuse the upperclassman in anyway from what they did. The bar is higher for these young men and woman as it should be. Anytime this happens, the media will jump on it and it will never be reported fairly and accurately because of privacy concerns and skewing of facts by the media.
     
  11. Buddy

    Buddy Member

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    I agree that there is probably much more to this than was reported in the CNN story. I know from my son that West Point takes sexual assault accusations extremely seriously. And, even if one concedes the veracity of the allegations-- which I don't automatically do-- it seems like much of what has been alleged would be very difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

    I read the entire complaint and it is clear that this suit is about advancing a particular agenda. The plaintiffs' allegations comprise a very few pages- most of the complaint is an attack on a "rape culture" at the military, with all sorts of statistics (again, much of which concern unproved allegations). I googled the attorneys and law firm and I found statements by them going back a couple of years in which the firm announced an intent to sue the military over its sexual assault policies. These two girls are being used to push a particular agenda and I do not believe that the attorneys involved have their interests at heart.

    The whole complaint reads like a long press release. If the complaint against the defendants is that they did not adequately respond to the rape allegations, that whether or not a rape occurred will have to be established. I do not know how they plan to show that the alleged rapes took place. No assailants are named and given the facts as alleged, I don't know how they are going to be able to show that there was no consent. The complaint puts the mental health of both girls in issue. Behavior and any disciplinary proceedings etc. will also be relevant.

    I have two daughers and two sons (and despite the "Buddy," I am a mom) so I can see these issues from both perspectives. Being drunk is not an invitation to being sexually assault; but drunken consensual sex which one regrets later is not rape. False rape allegations happen.

    This is an interesting take on the current push to lower the bar to judging guilt in sexual assault cases at college campuses:
    http://www.mindingthecampus.com/forum/2012/04/the_notorious_dear_colleague_letter_in_action.html
    I think this trend is alarming. I also think that this particular complaint is part of this trend.
     
  12. goldenlion

    goldenlion Member

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  13. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Buddy; u bring up a very good point. Not to stray from the original story and the allegations (Which could totally be factual); false allegations are a lot more common than many want to admit. As a guy, it is hard for me or other men to say that. But with buddy being a woman and mom, I'm glad she mentioned it.

    When a young man has sex that they afterwards regrets; because they cheated on a girl friend; parents found out and disapproved; went against their morals/values; or whatever reason for the regret; the young man basically has the option of "Pretending it never happened, and hope it's never brought up again". As someone who was less than moral at all times during my younger years, and when alcohol was involved, I can say that I went through those times of regret and had to basically pretend it never happened and hoped that it was never discovered or brought up by others. If it was.... then I would simply have to deal with it.

    A woman on the other hand, under the same circumstances, could if they wanted to, play the rape card. Under similar situations with regret, they could pretend it never happened and hoped it never was brought up. But if it was discovered, they do have one other recourse. Sometimes the accusation is legit; sometimes it's a false allegation. It's almost impossible for a man to claim rape. Not that it can't happen, just that it's much less believable.

    Not trying to stray from the original post. But I'm simply trying to emphasize the FACT that too many people are willing to believe the media and everything in the news and come to conclusions. They try, convict, and sentence without having all the facts. I'm not implying at all that these allegations are "False". Just that false allegations do exist and we don't know all of the facts of this story. There are plenty of inconsistencies to show that either the media or the story itself has some holes. "I personally believe the media isn't telling the full story".
     
  14. lingstar1

    lingstar1 USAFA 1980

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    The Academies have long dealt with the serious issues surrounding rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment. I am a member of the class of 1980 (first class with female cadets) and I remember that there were always rumors spoken in hushed tones that women were being assaulted at the Academy. I was shocked later in my career to learn from female classmates how widespread the criminal activity actually was. Needless to say the incidence of prosecution for the perpetrators was extermely low (truth-be-told, it was non-existent until the sex scandals of the 90's and early 2000's).

    I was always taught that if a woman said "no" then that was it. I was also raised never to take advantage of a woman in a compromised state (whether drunk or otherwise) where her judgement was less than 100%. Strangely, I didn't need an institution to teach me these things. These precepts were integral to my upbringing long before I attended USAFA. So I have no sympathy whatsoever to anyone who would raise any hint of wrong-doing on the part of the victims in these situations. Who gives a damn if they were drunk? Even if they begged for sex while under the influence a true gentleman would refuse to take advantage. How hard is that?
     
  15. Buddy

    Buddy Member

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    "So I have no sympathy whatsoever to anyone who would raise any hint of wrong-doing on the part of the victims in these situations. Who gives a damn if they were drunk? Even if they begged for sex while under the influence a true gentleman would refuse to take advantage. How hard is that? "


    Agreed but what is being alleged here is a crime and, if found guilty, the accused faces time in prison and the label of sexual offender for the rest of his life. The victims say they were drunk-- one admitted she was "passed out" drunk. If this case were being prosecuted, the prosecutor would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the sexual assault occurred. Let's say the defendant says the accuser consented but the accuser says she didn't, if, at the same time says she also says she couldn't remember what happened because she was passed out drunk, then I, for one, would have a hard time finding that the defendant was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Let's say they were both drunk-- why should the accuser get a pass for her behavior ("my verbalized consent didn't mean anything because I was drunk") but the defendant is not excused because of his drunken belief that her consent was sincere? I agree that the accused's behavior is probably not honorable or gentlemanly but we are talking about something else here-- a felony.
     
  16. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    Agree 100%.

    That being said, a couple points:

    1: I know females who have been assaulted in situations very similar to those described by the former cadet and MIDN who did not come forward. Their issue was NOT with the leadership (certainly not SECEDF?!?) but with their own emotions after the incident and other MIDN. The rumor mill is real, and it's brutal. I, for one, probably wouldn't come forward if I got sexually assaulted. I personally don't think the answer is more sexual harassment training, considering how seriously that's taken by MIDN :)rolleyes:) but am not sure what is.

    2: I was on PROTRAMID with the MIDN in the article (she's ex-my class), so I'm like at most 100 feet away in all the pictures they showed of her in the article and in the news piece. Aside from this being the closest I will probably ever get to being on CNN, I'm just putting it out there to clarify that, no matter how different our other experiences here were, that one at least was similar enough.
    I'm not going to comment on my personal opinion of her, but her comments about USNA being "a giant frat" made me roll my eyes. I'm sorry, but plenty of women go on to be successful here and be respected by their peers, both male and female. As a female, you also can't roll into a school that's 80% male, and chock full of males that percieve themselves as hot-shot alpha types, and expect it to be the same as going to a normal college. It's very different and you need thick skin, but it's definitely not impossible to succeed.
     
  17. lingstar1

    lingstar1 USAFA 1980

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    Buddy, I see your point. And I agree. My point was that if these cadets conducted themselves to the highest standards as befits their status as military officer candidates then any discussions of who is at fault or who can prove what would be moot.
     
  18. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Were they found guilty of a felony? Or are just just going to declare them guilty.

    Here's what I'd love to know... were they both cadets/midshipmen when they came forward? If not, why did they leave (not why did they say they left, but why were the disenrolled)? Was everyone 21?

    I'm a guy. I never stayed at an upperclassman's house.... alone.... not same sex, certainly not opposite sex.

    When I was a cadet (or maybe I had graduated) a girl in the square root club came forward, after she was disenrolled, and said she had been touched. She said where and when... in a room of 30 of her classmates, in the barracks just before a training... and that's what she maintained. None of her classmates agreed, none of the male and females who were there with her. The story made it to the news. She didn't say WHY she left (she had below a 1.0 GPA), not one said what a dead beat she was from day one of her time there... just her, pointing fingers, without proof. To most it looked like her mother was pushing her to speak. The camera crews got great shots of her 4/c official photo.... slowly zooming out until we realize she's holding the picture, looking at it, and crying.

    There is no excuse to rape anyone. Not at an academy, and likely not in jail. I would love, and not really care, to hear the whole story before I made a decision.
     
  19. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    What could the leadership have done to prevent what happened?

    It's very obivious to me if existing academies rules were followed, more than likely mentioned sexual assualts would not have happened.

    What is the leadership supposed to do - have hall monitors, someone to check beds every night at different interval, GPS tracker on person to see if a cadet or midshipman is off post when they are not supposed to be, and etc .

    From my experience, it was pretty clear to me that any type of sexual harrassement/assault will not be tolerated by the chain of command when I was a cadet.
     
  20. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    MemberLG, you are correct if everyone followed the rules none of this would happen. I agree also that the leadership cannot roam the halls and track every person and quiet frankly they should not. These are future officers that will have to lead young men and women in the fleet and possibly war. They should not be micro managed nor helicoptered by leadership, they should be mentored, trained, taught to think, make decisions, made responsible for their actions, etc. That is exactly why they are at USNA. From the moment they graduate they need to be able to lead. I think all sexual assualts are taken very seriously at the Academies. I think in light of recent media attention and mandates from the DoD these are dealt with at the highest levels, but they also fall into gray areas. Often times, not always, they are reported weeks, months, years after the incident, large quantities of alcohol are involved and most cases are he said/she said.
     

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