“RAPE IN THE MILITARY MUST STOP”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jul. 6, 2016) — “People speak sometimes about the ‘bestial’ cruelty of man, but that is terribly unjust and offensive to beasts; no animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky
This article and those expected to follow are a departure from The Post & Email’s customary child-friendly policy, but because of its import in exposing alleged corruption at a variety of levels within the U.S. military, a civilian police department, and medical personnel at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, we believe it must be told. We strongly caution parents and grandparents that the content presented herein is not for children.
The following relates how a U.S. Army soldier has alleged, through his own statements and those of his power-of-attorney, that he was sexually assaulted by four men believed to have been military contractors working at Ft. Lee, VA; burned with cigarettes; urinated upon and thrown in front of a moving vehicle after indicating his intent to come forward with knowledge of extreme misconduct involving an Army officer and his wife, a military chaplain, and his own wife.
The soldier alleges that the crimes were carried out on April 29, 2013, while he was on duty at Ft. Lee. He had previously served in South Korea but was transferred after being labeled “schizophrenic” and “delusional” following his allegations of sexual exploits taking place among the above-named parties.
Since the day he was injured, the soldier has been in continuous treatment for a traumatic brain injury incurred after he landed on the hood of a car in moving traffic. Most recently, he has been treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on “non-duty status.”
In addition to incurring serious injuries, the soldier’s wallet and computer were stolen and $13,000 in debt charged to his account at Navy Federal Credit Union, which said in a curt, two-paragraph letter that “After a thorough investigation, your fraud claim has been denied.” Although he did not sign for the loans, the soldier, completely disabled at this time, is making payments on it.
At the writing of this report, the soldier is enjoying spending time with his family since before his injury more than three years ago. His power of attorney told The Post & Email that the soldier recently underwent a mental health evaluation against his will following a number of contentious interactions between Walter Reed staff and the POA.
The Post & Email has seen the Power of Attorney document, which is less than a year old but which personnel at Walter Reed have reportedly tried to discredit.
The Army claims, in a military police report generated from a local police report of the traffic accident, that the soldier attempted to commit suicide by running into traffic.
The Petersburg, VA Police Department’s report of the motor vehicle accident contains three statements from as many motorists which are contradictory.
The Army CID (Criminal Investigation Service) has been asked to investigate but said the incident is “out of their jurisdiction.”
As the soldier was a resident of New York State before deploying overseas, he informed U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of his allegations of sexual assault in light of her position as Chairman of the Personnel Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee and support for the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA). A letter dated June 7, 2016 designated “For Media” from the alleged victim addressed to Gillibrand summarizes the horrendous events he alleges occurred, including that “The attackers walked me out to the road and pushed me into the street. I woke up at VCU medical center with a Traumatic Brain Injury and my family was told that I tried to commit suicide.”
A statement on Gillibrand’s website featuring the MJIA proposal states, in part:
Over the last three years, there has been a stream of national headlines and new investigative reports exposing the military’s failure to combat sexual assault in the ranks and/or provide a military justice system that holds assailants accountable in order to maintain good order and discipline. Despite incremental reforms passed in the last two National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAA), and a sharp focus on the issue of military sexual assault in Congress, the most recent Pentagon survey found that 62 percent of women who reported being sexually assaulted experienced retaliation. The amount of retaliation remains unchanged from 2012, while the estimated number of unwanted sexual contacts remains at 2010 levels – an average of 52 new cases every day.
Statistics from 2014 paint a bleak picture for military victims of sexual assault, including that “Service members who report assault are 12 TIMES more likely to suffer from retaliation for doing so than seeing their offender convicted of a sex crime.”
In his letter to Gillibrand, the soldier wrote:
A May 2015 report authored by Gillibrand’s office states that “Department of Defense Documents Show: Despite Congressional Reforms Passed, Hostile Climate and Lack of Faith in Commander-Led Justice System Remain; The Scope of Violence in Military Communities is Vastly Underreported.”
The POA believes that the soldier’s civil rights have been unconstitutionally denied by the military. “I’m not playing any games,” the POA told a member of the soldier’s military medical team after a medical appointment for a “second opinion” was set by the military without consulting the POA.
While the soldier was scheduled to be discharged for “schizophrenia” in February 2013, he is now arguably micro-managed by Walter Reed staff and currently administered six different medications, three of which are for “mood.” One of the conditions of granting his leave was that he is required to appear by Skype twice daily to take his medication in front of a Walter Reed witness, while another was to have lab tests done at very specific times and reported “within 24 hours” to Walter Reed or face revocation of his leave.
Upon obtaining the guidelines for leave while under medical treatment, the POA found no such requirements even contemplated.
The soldier’s story, as told by his POA, is as follows:
In 2011, he was stationed in Korea. At that time, he left his wife and daughter back in New York, where he was residing. Around September of 2011, his wife started begging to come to Korea. The soldier resisted, but after a lot of pressure, he allowed her to join him there. When she arrived, she didn’t know anyone, and the soldier thought it was a good idea for her to get involved with the wives of some of the other captains and generals so she wouldn’t be alone.
His wife started building a relationship with Col. *********’s wife. Shortly afterward, the soldier would call me in the wee hours of the morning – because Korea is hours ahead of us – to say that his wife was partying with the colonel’s wife, she’s out, doing all kinds of crazy things. From there, he started questioning her, saying she was partying too much. After he backed her into a corner with questions, he called us one night to say, “I’m done.” Come to find out, his wife, the colonel’s wife and the colonel were having sex orgies.
The soldier’s wife went back and told the colonel and his wife and other people that the soldier had told us what was going on. After that, the soldier would call and literally be sick every other day, having to go to the emergency room, and he said, “I’m dying. I think she’s poisoning me.” He started watching her, and one day he caught her with a blue pill in her hand. He grabbed it from her and asked, “Where did you get this?” and she said, “I got it from the colonel’s wife,” and he said, “So you have been poisoning me.” After that, he stopped eating her food and started getting better.
But the situation didn’t get better, because his wife continued to participate in the sex orgies. We have a journal where the soldier was writing down what was happening. The colonel was trying to make the soldier participate in sex orgies and he didn’t want to. They were trying to make him sleep with the colonel’s wife; they would barge into his apartment at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning and have sex with his wife in front of him.
The soldier decided to blow the whistle, and when he did that, they called the MPs on him with the classic move…”You’re crazy, you’re delusional…” They sent him for a mental evaluation, and from there, they sent him to Ft. Lee, VA. Before he made it there, however, he was charged with 32 counts of UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) violations by his wife. So he went from “I want to report these sex orgies that include the colonel, his wife, my wife, and the unit chaplain” to his wife’s having filed 32 UCMJ charges against him for rape and battery.
From there, the command at Ft. Lee told him to shut up. They put him in a medical board process in September 2012, with a discharge date of February 2013. They didn’t even give him due process.
At that time, he took leave, he came home, and told us the story of what was going on. He had to report that to the Petersburg Police Department, so I got him a ticket to go back to Petersburg. When he got back, something happened where they pushed out his discharge date.
They were originally going to medically discharge him as delusional and schizophrenic, and he said, “They’re not going to push me out in a classic move, labeling me ‘schizophrenic.'” In February, he told us that he realized that “I’ve lost my career all because I’ve been telling what happened.”
The soldier said he was going to the media and that he would file a report with Army CID (Criminal Investigation Division). It was after that that the attack occurred, on April 29, 2013.
There were four men involved who the soldier believes were military contractors, one of whom he alleges was the Petersburg police chief’s son. He couldn’t verify whether or not they were actually in the military or contractors, but they were on base all the time working in the general’s office. They had tried to befriend him to get information from him.
One of them hit him on the head, laying him out on the ground, and the other three started beating on him. They were burning him all over his body with cigarettes. They then took turns penetrating him and urinating on him. After the assault, the soldier said they started walking him out, and then they pushed him into traffic.
The Petersburg police report has three witnesses’ names on it. If you read their statements, one says that he “observed the pedestrian walk off the side of the road thinking the pedestrian was going to cross the road.” He then “switched lanes from 2 to 1 to provide space to the pedestrian. Love (the witness) then observed the pedestrian motion as if to leap and then the pedestrian was across his windshield.”
A second one says that “just moments before the incident he almost struck the same pedestrian and attempted to call for police from the Rock Church parking lot.” The third said, “apprx 10 minutes earlier the same pedestrian ran towards his vehicle in the middle of the roadway.” So there are conflicting stories.
Petersburg PD is the one who called in the report to the military police. If you look at the MP report, the first paragraph the MPs wrote is in accordance with what Petersburg said.
In the first paragraph of the narrative, it says that the soldier was transported with “non-life threatening injuries” with a concussion and in “stable condition,” but if you read the second paragraph, it says he was transported with “multiple injuries and is in critical condition.”
I have the hospital report, and it says he was brought in with a traumatic brain injury. If a car hits you and the driver says he wasn’t going over 30 mph, you don’t sustain burns all over your body. You don’t get a traumatic brain injury if you jump off a windshield and they jack on the brakes. You don’t get that kind of brain injury from 30 mph.
From there, the soldier’s wallet went missing. The military gave me all of his things, but they failed to give me his computer.
Months later, he was still in the hospital and discovered that a $3,000 signature loan was taken out in his name from Navy Federal. Then three months later, a $10,000 signature loan was taken out. We filed a report that said, “This is fraud. He’s been in the hospital; he hasn’t even been in military service. He’s been in a psych ward.” They never even took the soldier’s statement as to what happened to him.
They always ask, “Where’s the patient’s statement?” but not in this case. His claim was simply “denied.”
A JAG is free of charge in the military if you are a victim of identity theft. But the command refused to assign him a JAG. You know why? Because if they give him a JAG, you’re going to track down the perpetrators, right? You’re going to find out who the identity thief was.
The psychiatrist, Dr. Williamson, said on a number of identical reports that the soldier is suicidal, he’s delusional, but he doesn’t have one DOD assessment. If he tried to commit suicide, why haven’t the doctors done any suicide risk assessments in four years? Why didn’t he get due process with his Med Board?
After the soldier received treatment from Walter Reed for a time, the doctor sent him to a couple of neuro locations: to Florida for memory restoration and to Texas to Touchstone Memory Care. I was trying to work with this doctor at the time, and I was starting to believe that XXXXXXX had tried to kill himself, but he said, “No, that wasn’t what happened.” When he started telling his story, and I started questioning the doctor in the military, their story started to unravel. That’s when I said, “Now we see what’s going on.” And that’s when they moved him back to Walter Reed, in April of this year.
At that point, I started questioning the doctor, “Why has the soldier told you that he was raped and beaten, that it was retaliation for telling about the sex orgies, and all of these years, he has said, “I’ve been telling the doctor what happened to me, and the doctor has laughed at me and said, ‘That didn’t happen’? He has refused to put the reported rape in the soldier’s medical file. Then they threw him in the med board process again.
This is where it gets even crazier.
DOD has outlined the med board practice, and he was given an attorney who was strategically selected by the psychiatrist at Walter Reed. Of course, they weren’t going to give him due process because if he is the subject of the med board process, he gets the opportunity for a rebuttal; he gets to get his statement in, and then everything would come out. The med board process instead went forward without the soldier’s statement or involvement; they never questioned him, and now everybody has gone silent.
The soldier has a claim in to TSDLI, which covers soldiers when they are injured, but because this doctor has put “suicide” and not the soldier’s story in his medical records, he can’t get his insurance money because it looks like a suicide when it was rape and attempted murder. The military has yet to assign him an attorney. So again, the process was locked because if it weren’t, he would get to tell his story. So his doctor is in on it; the lawyer’s in on it, and the soldier worker who was assigned to the injured soldier refuses to help.
I’ve filed complaints with the State of Maryland on all of those people because even though they’re civilian contractors with the military, they still have a license in Maryland, and they’re still obligated by ethics. The doctor has screamed at me. The soldier is on Lithium, Depakote, Seroquil, and Diazepam. He started losing his hearing, he couldn’t control his bodily functions…So thank God, we found another doctor who used to work at Walter Reed and was blackballed. They blocked the soldier’s Tricare so he couldn’t get another doctor. But Dr. Gilbert, who is an angel, has been seeing the soldier on an intervention basis for five weeks pro bono. Dr. Williamson refuses to provide the medical records; he refuses to take the soldier off the medication or to allow the soldier’s minister in the room with him. The doctor insists on talking to the soldier one-on-one. What does he need to talk to him one-on-one for? So he can continue to tell him this didn’t happen and prevent him from doing anything?
[Editor’s Note: The POA told The Post & Email that Dr. Gilbert, who is a psychologist, said that in her expert opinion, the soldier has been “misdiagnosed.”]
It’s as if they’re holding him hostage.
After the POA filed a complaint against Williamson and others involved in the soldier’s care, the following response was issued:
In an email dated June 20, the same day on which the soldier was released for leave with his family, Williamson wrote in an email, in part:
I have been informed by the WTU team that XXXXXXX has terminated care with me. I had an appointment scheduled with him last week but I understand that he did not attend on the instructions of XXXXXXXX. I had arranged a senior psychiatrist (Dr. Perito) to see XXXXX for a second opinion appointment regarding his diagnosis and treatment on 07Jun2016, which he did not keep. I have been informed that he will not be allowed by family to see that physician. I have been informed that the family would prefer a provider outside of the Walter Reed or military community.
The Post & Email will continue to follow this story and whether or not he ever receives justice for the crimes perpetrated against him.