Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Update: Charges Dropped Against Air Force Woman Who Reported Rape

I blogged about the court martial against Cassandra Hernandez where the 3 men she accused of raping her were given immunity in that case in exchange for testifying against her during her trial for having sexual contact with those men. She stopped cooperating with the rape investigation once she became convinced that her claims were no longer being taken seriously.

Thankfully, the Air Force has dropped the charges possibly due to how bad this case made the Air Force look to those who are concerned about those raped by other servicemen.

Charged with committing indecent acts after refusing to testify against a man she had accused of rape, only to see those charges later dropped, a female airman said Friday that she is no longer sure about a career in the Air Force.

"I do respect the fact that they've tried to correct the things they've done wrong," Airman 1st Class Cassandra Hernandez said in a statement released by her attorneys. "As a result of what happened this week, it does give me more hope in the system. I don't completely trust the system now."

I don't blame her for not completely trusting the system since this change may not reflect an overall change in direction. When institutions mess up royally like the Air Force did in this case, we need to keep drawing attention to the problems.

If organizations won't do the right thing because it is right, then we need to encourage them to do the right thing because doing the wrong thing brings unwanted attention.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:05 AM   2 comments links to this post


At September 18, 2007 4:27 PM, Blogger UneFemmePlusCourageuse said...

I'm so glad this happened today...I wrote to both of my Congressmen about this case back in August and I'm so happy that things are at least going to be partially okay for this woman.

At September 19, 2007 10:46 AM, Blogger Seeing Eye Chick said...

That's not an institution "Messing Up," that happens more often than people know. Usually it never gets to trial to be made *official.

Compare her case with the Air Force Academy Rape cases and its completely par for the course. And since a number of Air Force officers graduate from the AFA, it does make one wonder about the background of the judge. Who is his Alma Mater? AFA? Hmmmmmm
And other officers of the court?

There are so many cases: One in which a woman at one of the academy's wasnt allowed to enter her tox screen for GHB because the judge ruled she could have taken it as a recreational drug rather than getting the usual way.

There is a whole community of Female Vets out there who hold in common, the experience of Military Sexual Trauma, the way the VA treats them and their cases is reprehensible. As if this Airman didnt have enough trouble, just wait. If she gets out when she gets out and tries to use the VA, chances are she will have a whole new horror story to tell.


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