Woman sues KBR, claiming it’s at fault for a sexual assault
A co-worker in Iraq convicted of the attack on her
JAMES PINKERTON – HOUSTON CHRONICLE – Oct. 5, 2010 – A Houston woman has filed suit against government contracting firm KBR, alleging it created a “sexually violent workplace” that allowed a co-worker to sexually assault her at an Iraqi airbase two years ago.
The woman, now 28, was attacked by co-worker David C. Breda Jr. of Pearland while he was helping her move into new quarters at Camp Al Asad on Oct. 8, 2008. Breda, 35, a former U.S. Army recruiter who had previously been sanctioned for molesting an 18-year-old female recruit, was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison in January after he pleaded guilty to assaulting the woman in Iraq.
The lawsuit in a Harris County state district court is the latest in a number of claims brought against Houston-based KBR by employees who say they were attacked by co-workers or others at jobs in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the first was brought by Jamie Leigh Jones, formerly of Conroe, who contends she was gang-raped at a KBR facility in Baghdad in July 2005.
“If you’re raising jackals and put a rabbit in the jackal cage, you can’t turn your back and say it’s the rabbit’s fault the jackals attacked,” said Todd Kelly, who represents the Houston woman, Jones and four others with claims against KBR. “That’s what they’re doing. They put young women right in front of these men who have gotten away with this for so long and they turn their back. They do nothing to protect these women.”
Heather Browne, a KBR spokeswoman, denied the assertions in the lawsuit and said KBR’s top priority is the safety and security of its employees. KBR maintains a strong and effective sexual harassment and assault prevention and reporting program, she said.
KBR denies allegations
“KBR adamantly denies the allegations in (the lawsuit) that sexual misconduct is encouraged, tolerated, or ignored,” Brown said in a statement released by the company. “KBR responded immediately to (the) report of inappropriate sexual contact and reported it to military authorities. KBR also fully cooperated with the criminal investigation … ”
Last year, an arbitrator in Houston awarded $2.93 million to Tracy Barker, the wife of an Army sergeant who said she was sexually assaulted at a KBR-operated camp in Iraq in 2005 by a U.S. State Department employee. Her attorney was critical when KBR, after fighting to keep their employee’s claims out of a courtroom, sought to reduce the arbitrator’s award.
Kelly is also representing former KBR employee Anna Mayo, 27, from the Austin area, who says she was beaten, choked unconscious and raped at KBR barracks at a U.S. base in Balad, Iraq, last November. (Click HERE for original article)
Click HERE for petition.
How many does this make now? Too many? KBR hides, protects and even promotes these predators. I hope there are a whole lot of zeros attached to these sexual assault awards.
Filed in Franken Amendment*, Indictments, Convictions & Arrests, Lawsuits Against KBR, LOGCAP III - KBR, Rape, Hazing, Discrimination & Harassment | Tagged: David Charles Breda, KBR Convictions, Rachel Wright, Rape, Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment, Todd Kelly