According to Mr. Noling, Carri's rapist was accused of another rape at Camp Pendleton in 2006. The rapist received non-judicial punishment for raping Carri. He is still in the Marine Corps.
"We must focus on Leadership"
Mullen's statement, "We must focus on leadership" rings true to Anu Bhagwati, former Marine Corps Captain and now Executive Director of the Service Women's Action Network.
Bhagwati stated during the February 15 press conference, that she...
"witnessed my own senior officers violate sexual harassment and sexual assault policies, shirk their responsibilities to their own troops, lie to families by ignoring reports of abuse, transfer sexual predators out of their units instead of prosecuting them, promote sexual predators during ongoing investigations, and accuse highly decorated enlisted service members of lying about their abuse, simply because they were women. Any attempt to hold these officers accountable was met with threats and retaliation. I saw some of the nation's finest service members leave the military after their abuse and betrayal, while their perpetrators and the officers who willingly protected them to this day remain in uniform."
Bhagwati also said that...
"the vast majority of victims are junior enlisted. In an institution where rank and chain of command determine your every move, sexual predators often exert power and violence over those with the least amount of rank. There are well-founded reasons that so few women and men report the crimes committed against them. Reporting sexual assault and sexual harassment in the military is brutally intimidating at best, and a death sentence at worst. Perpetrators often guarantee a victim's silence by threat of retaliation. Unsympathetic commanders who fail to protect survivors are all too common. Often times, it is commanders who are complicit in cover-ups of these cases."
Need for Registry of Sexual Offenders in the Military
Bhagwati challenges Secretary of Defense Gates' statistics on the number of prosecutions of alleged rapists, and calls for a registry of sexual predators in the military. "As for punishment," she said, "fewer than one-in-five sexual predators ever see the inside of a courtroom. Most walk away with slaps on the wrist, instead of jail time. We know that sexual predators are often serial offenders, and yet, the military not only fails to prosecute and convict most of them, it also fails to provide a sexual offender registry to civilian authorities, allowing military perpetrators to continue preying upon victims in civilian communities across the country."
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