Back in 2012, twelve former and current members of the United States Armed Forces filed a shocking and serious lawsuit against the military, alleging sexual harassment, abuse, and physical violence while on duty. The suit was filed against soldiers, sailors, and commanders in the Marines and Navy in civilian court.
Now, the top civilian court of appeals has rejected the lawsuit.
“The Supreme Court has held that military officials are not subject to personal liability under the Constitution for their management decisions, including the choices they make about the discipline, supervision, and control of service members,” Judge Thomas B. Griffith wrote in the court’s July 18 opinion.
Ruling in the women’s favor, therefore, would be tantamount to “judicial intrusion,” Griffith wrote.
According to court documents, during their service, 10 say they were either raped or sexually assaulted by their peers and superiors in the military.
Instances of rape and sexual assault within the armed forces are startling – and terrifying. According to the most recent Defense Department study, more than 19,000 incidents of unwanted sexual contact are estimated to have occurred in 2010, though less than 3,000 of those events were reported.
In 2010, less than 21% of reported cases went to trial. Of the 529 alleged perpetrators who were prosecuted, 53% were convicted, according to the 2011 Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, which is part of the Defense Department.
What to do if you have been sexually assaulted at work
If the unthinkable happens to you, you are probably feeling ashamed, frightened, and confused. As hard as it may seem, after a work-related sexual assault, you must do your best to stay calm so our NYC sexual harassment lawyers can help bring the perpetrator to justice.
First, preserve all the evidence you can. Do not shower, clean up, brush your teeth, or otherwise compromise any physical evidence. Keep all the clothing you were wearing. Immediately report the assault to the police. Then, speak with a compassionate New York lawyer who can walk you through the next legal steps.
The Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC handles a multitude of cases that involve sexual harassment in Manhattan and the greater New York City area. For further information, please feel free to call us at 212-587-0760.