Household of slain Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillén looking for $35 million in damages

The household of a Texas soldier who was sexually harassed and killed at a navy base close to Killeen in 2020 filed a lawsuit Friday looking for $35 million in damages from the U.S. authorities.

The household of 20-year-old Vanessa Guillén is looking for damages on the idea of sexual harassment, abuse, assault, rape, sodomy and wrongful loss of life.

An investigation by navy officers into the loss of life of Guillén, who was killed by a fellow soldier at U.S. Military base Fort Hood, discovered that she was additionally sexually harassed and that leaders didn’t take applicable motion. The lawsuit describes two situations by which Guillén was harassed throughout her time as a soldier and Guillén’s suicidal ideas on account of dealing with the harassment, which she advised household that she didn’t report for worry of retaliation.

“This shall be a possibility for each sufferer to really feel not solely like they’ve a voice however that they are often made entire,” mentioned Natalie Khawam, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Guillén’s household.

The lawsuit follows a choice Thursday by a three-judge panel from the ninth U.S. Circuit Courtroom of Appeals in San Francisco stating that an Military colonel might proceed with a lawsuit in opposition to a former Air Power Common over a sexual assault allegation. The court docket discovered {that a} regulation barring service members from looking for damages over accidents throughout service didn’t apply.

Guillén was declared lacking in April 2020. Her stays have been discovered that July, when the soldier accused of killing Guillén died by suicide following a confrontation with officers. A civilian confronted expenses for allegedly serving to Robinson get rid of Guillén’s stays.

In April 2021, the U.S. Military launched a report saying officers at Fort Hood ignored Guillén’s complaints of sexual harassment. The report discovered that Guillén verbally reported she was sexually harassed on two events in 2019 by a supervisor who wasn’t her alleged killer. It didn’t establish who allegedly harassed her however mentioned it was a “superior noncommissioned officer in her unit.”

On the time, Khawam questioned why the outcomes of the investigation weren’t launched sooner.

“We knew she was being sexually harassed,” Khawam advised CBS Information. “We knew that folks have been mendacity. We knew she was falsely accounted for. We knew all of this. Why it took so many months to come back out with this, I do not know.”

Guillén’s loss of life and claims by her household that she was harassed and assaulted on the Texas base sparked a social media motion of former and energetic service members who got here ahead about their very own experiences within the navy with the hashtag #IAmVaessaGuillen. State and federal lawmakers have since handed laws in honor of Guillén that eliminated some authority from commanders and gave survivors extra choices to report.

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