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Sexual Violence Against Women in the US Military: The Search for Truth and Justice

LaVena Johnson

Thursday, 14 July 2011 12:20 John Lasker

An investigation into the alleged suicide of US Army Private Lavena Johnson points to a larger story of sexual violence against women in the military.

Do you know the story of US Army Private Lavena Johnson and her alleged suicide? If you get most of your news from the mainstream media, probably not, considering the mainstream media has mysteriously cowered from her story of how a loving and happy 19-year-old suddenly killed herself in 2005 while serving in Iraq.

But now that the Cold Case Investigations Research Institute of Philadelphia has agreed to tackle the case, perhaps the story of Lavena and the mysterious deaths of other US female soldiers on bases in Afghanistan and Iraq will finally become recognized by a much larger audience.

Each year the Cold Case Investigations Research Institute (CCIRI) takes on a high-profile cold case. Past investigations have looked into the murders of Tu Pac and Chandra Levy, for instance.

So far, CCIRI has had their own ballistic and forensic experts and a psychologist who is an expert on suicides, take a good look at the military’s investigative file and autopsy photos. All have serious doubts Lavena took her own life.

“There’s no question the military’s [investigation and conclusion of suicide] has problems,” says Sheryl McCollum, director of CCIRI. “If there are any signs of murder, you can’t automatically call it a suicide.”

But while the CCIRI has found the courage to take on this potential military cover-up, major media such as CBS News’s 60 Minutes and ABC News have attempted to report on Lavena’s death, but backed away from airing the story, even though both CBS and ABC spent thousands of dollars on Lavena, sending multiple teams to the home of the Johnsons. 60 Minutes also paid to have Lavena’s body disinterred for a second autopsy, this according to Lavena’s father, Dr. John Johnson of St. Louis. Read the remainder of this entry »

1 in 3 women raped in military- Pentagon protects perps

ACLU lawsuit: Military won’t release rape records

JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN – The Associated Press – December 13, 2010 – NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Sexual assault pervades the military, but the Pentagon refuses to release records that fully document the problem and how it is handled, the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups said in a federal lawsuit that seeks access to the records.

Tens of thousands of service members have reported some form of sexual assault, harassment or trauma in the past decade, according to the lawsuit filed Monday in New Haven against the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. The plaintiffs include the Service Women’s Action Network, the ACLU of Connecticut and Yale Law School students. Read the remainder of this entry »

“LaVena Johnson – The Silent Truth” documentary released

Updated Wednesday, Nov 10 at 9:56 AM

(KMOV) — For years, a St. Louis family has wondered how their soldier daughter died in Iraq.

Lavena Johnson, who was 19 at the time, was found dead of a gunshot wound in July of 2005 on a U.S. Army base in Iraq.

The Army ruled her death as a suicide, but her family believes Johnson was raped and murdered.

A new documentary about her death premieres Wednesday night at Webster University at 7:00 p.m.

The film, “The Silent Truth” is being shown to the public for free.

Johnson’s father, along with the film’s director, will be available to discuss the movie afterwards.

The film is put on by “Veteran’s for Peace,” a group which aims to expose what it calls “the true cost of war.” (click HERE for original article)

MsSparky.com has been following this case since we first heard about it. We have been waiting anxiously for well over a year for this documentary to be released MidTown Films. Finally the public will get a glimpse into the world of Army Criminal Investigations. The LaVena Johnson case is but one classic example why I personally have NO confidence in the Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) to investigate the rapes and assaults of not only female soldiers but civilians as well.

You can view the documentary trailer HERE. I caution you, there are some very graphic crime scene photos in this trailer. I also have the trailer on my YouTube.

You can also get more information and view other videos at the PFC LaVena Johnson website.

It is so incredibly sad this military family as well as so many others must personally investigate the crimes against their loved ones. Defense Secretary Robert Gates should be very ashamed of himself. This is absolutely unacceptable!

As soon as I find a link to view the entire documentary I will post it. If you have a link please email me.

Ms Sparky

Attacks against women escalating at Camp Adder, Iraq

Two days ago I blogged about the sexual assault of a US soldier that occurred the last week of August 2010 at Camp Adder Iraq. It just keeps getting worse!

Below is a wanted posted issued by the Provost Marshall Office (PMO) at Camp Adder Tallil, Iraq. It looks like there may be a serial rapist/attacker on the loose. According to this poster there have been two more attacks from October 18, 2010 to October 20, 2010.

These photos depict a person(s) wearing military clothing. Although this attacker could very well be a US soldier, I caution you not to rule out everyone else. Military issue clothing is not difficult to get.  If the attacker is a civilian, he could be using this as a disguise to draw attention away from himself. Don’t rule anything out.

If you have information regarding these incidents please contact the Tallil Provost Marshal Office DSN 318-833-1246. If the Tallil Provost Marshal Office has an email address that could be published so people could email information please send it.

If you don’t feel comfortable contacting the PMO yourself, send your information to me by clicking HERE and I will forward it for you.

This/these cowardly bastard(s) need to be caught. Then I say….“GIVE THE VICTIMS A TASER AND LET THEM HAVE A FEW MINUTES ALONE WITH HIM!”

Ms Sparky

Female soldier sexually assaulted at Camp Adder, Iraq

Sadly there has been another female sexually assaulted in Iraq. A female soldier reported being sexually assaulted during the last week in August 2010 at Camp Adder on Tallil Air Base in Tallil, Iraq. The attack occurred at approximately 7:30pm along Perimeter Road in the NW area of Camp Adder.

The attacker is a white American male, possibly a civilian contractor. He is about 5’9″-5’10” tall, medium build, slight beer gut, short dirty blond hair, wearing blue jeans and a dirty white shirt. (I know that doesn’t narrow it down much.)

The Subject may have appeared injured to the face area around the time frame of the incident. Subject was last seen on September 20, 2010 on the southern part of LA-1 area wearing a dark blue shirt with a picture on an elephant, faded blue jeans and hair cut to Military length.

A personal message to this victim:

“I am so very sorry this senseless barbaric crime has happened to you and I am committed to helping you in any way I can. I promise you that! I strongly urge you to contact the Todd Kelly Law Firm in Houston for representation. Todd is representing other Iraq rape victims and is experienced in dealing with the DoD and the civilian courts.” ~ Ms Sparky

I’ve verified with the Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) this investigation is active and ongoing.  If you have information regarding this incident please contact the COB Adder, CID Office at DSN 318-833-1454/1446 /1449 or the Tallil Provost Marshal Office DSN 318-833-1246 or contact your closest U.S. Army Military Police or U.S. Army CID Office. CID Case # 0088-10-CID939-14822

Ms Sparky readers have been so awesome providing information on other crimes. I’m calling on you again to send that information. If you do not feel comfortable contacting the CID directly you can send your information to me (click HERE) and I will forward it to the CID for you.

Ms Sparky