Papillion Woman Says She Was Assaulted At Offutt


Support Group For Victim's Of Military Sexual Assault:

www.wcaomaha.org/

A few weeks ago, we introduced you to two local Marines. Both say they were raped in the service. Since that story aired, a new victim has come forward.

From the outside, Offutt Air Force Base looks like it would be the safest place you could ever go. It has gates, cameras, and it's campus is quiet and serene.

A young Papillion woman says what happened behind these gates was anything but safe.

"It was really hard..." "Amy" said as she wiped away tears.

We're calling her Amy to protect her identity. The trial just wrapped up.

Amy was 18-year-old at the time. She met a boy online, an airman at Offutt. They talked for weeks and decided to meet at his dorm on base.

"It all happened so fast I felt like I couldn't stop anything." Amy said.

She says around 30 minutes after she arrived at the dorm, in the middle of watching Netflix shows, he got violent.

"He ended up biting my neck.. You could see the individual teeth marks."

Amy says he wouldn't take no for an answer.

"I felt him trying to have sex with me and I just...I don't know overcame me but I was able to push him off, put on my clothes and I just ran out." said Amy.

She was captured on security video leaving the Offutt dorm.

We requested that video.

Offutt allowed WOWT's Malorie Maddox to view it, but they wouldn't let our cameras show the video.

In it, it shows Amy walking down the stairwell, texting a friend. She told us she was frantic and texting her friend following the attack.

Soon after, she pressed charges.

Amy says, "First, I called Sarpy County Officers to report it. They said since it occurred on base I had to go through military police."

Military court is different than the courtroom we are used to seeing. First, the defendant gets to pick if they want a military jury or civilian jury.

"He decided to pick all active duty airmen." said Amy.

Amy thought she had a strong case. She had pictures of the bit marks from that night and the day after. The security video shows her leaving the dorm.

When the verdict came back recently...

"We find him not guilty of all charges...and then my attorney just walked me out." Amy said through tears.

The U.S. Department of Defense says 93 percent of military rape cases end without a conviction. Recently, there has been a push by some legislators to get these cases out of military court, into civilian court.

Amy is all for it.

"The rules the military courts have...I believe everything was in his favor from the beginning."

WOWT requested Sexual Assault numbers from Offutt.

Since October 1, 2013 there have been 12 reports of sexual assault.

-7 occurred at other worldwide locations
-5 were reported locally. 2 occurred on the base, and 3 were off base

Col. Hans Palaoro, 55th Wing vice commander, also released this statement:

"In reference to the case of the recent court martial, using the information originally reported and from the thorough investigation of the incident by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, commanders at three levels took appropriate action by preferring court martial charges against the subject and sending the case to trial by general court-martial -- a felony-level trial. A panel of officers and enlisted members heard the case, applied the judge's instruction of requiring proof beyond a reasonable doubt (part of the due process that is afforded any individual charged with any crime), and rendered a "not-guilty" verdict. That outcome in no way changes the full range of Air Force resources and support that will continue to be provided to the victim. It will also not deter commanders from sending future cases, when appropriate, to a court-martial to ensure the pursuit of justice.

The Air Force is partnering with sexual assault experts both within and outside of the military to help us devise solutions to the challenging issue of sexual assault. Sexual assault prevention and response - which includes holding perpetrators accountable and caring for victims - is a top priority for Offutt Air Force Base. Sexual misconduct is incompatible with our core values, harmful to our people, and makes us a less effective fighting force at home and while deployed. The Air Force and Offutt Air Force Base are committing numerous resources to enact a multi-pronged approach aimed at eliminating this crime from the Air Force."

As far as the Airman accused in this assault, Offutt tells us he still lives on base. They could not comment on if he received any disciplinary action.


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