30 August 2007


This is exactly the sort of sick and twisted story that makes me want to dig out my Air Force Achievement and Good Conduct Medals, roll them up in my Honorable Discharge certificate and my DD form 214, and smoke them ... Ah, the age of Bush -- you just gotta love it.

Via Raw Story (what else?):

CBS: Female airman claims rape, ends up on trial herself

CBS News reported Tuesday on a current case that calls into doubt the Air Force's promise, after a scandal four years ago, of better treatment for alleged rape victims. The case is that of Airman Cassandra Hernandez, who has stated that she was raped by three fellow airmen.

Hernandez gave an exclusive interview to CBS in which she admitted having drunk "a lot" at a party before accompanying three male colleagues to a dorm room. She acknowledged that her memory of events is fuzzy, but said she definitely remembers saying "No" and trying to push the men away. The three men allege that Hernandez started taking off her clothes and that the sex which followed was consensual.

A hearing was originally set on the rape charges, but after harsh pre-trial questioning, Hernandez decided not to testify. At that point the Air Force brought lesser charges against all four airmen, citing Hernandez for underage drinking and "indecent acts." The three men accepted minor punishments, while Hernandez refused. She is now facing a court-martial and could be jailed or expelled from the Air Force. At the same time, the three men have been granted immunity in their testimony against her.

It is that outcome that has so alarmed advocates for rape victims and raised a concern that -- regardless of whether Hernandez is correct in her accusations -- the case will have a chilling effect in the future. According to the Los Angeles Times, Hernandez' attorneys have released a statement saying that "'important, relevant evidence' was denied them during discovery and that Hernandez decided not to plead to the same indecent-act charge as the three airmen because 'she was told that she was considered guilty unless she proved herself innocent.'"

"The system failed Hernandez," one of her attorneys told CBS.

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