Aug 292007
 

The military has once again shown that it is not serious about stopping sexual assault in the ranks.  According to the Air Force Times:

“Staff Sgts. Brandon M. Donovan and Jonathon M. Fehl, of the 332nd Recruiting Squadron in Oak Ridge, Tenn., both pleaded guilty to multiple sexual misconduct charges at May 30 courts-martial. Both men were charged with wrongfully making sexual advances toward, or seeking or accepting sexual advances from an Air Force applicant and with adultery.

Both were reduced to E-1 and given a bad conduct discharge, and are now on appellate leave status while their cases are given customary reviews, according to Maj. Sean McKenna, an Air Force Recruiting Service spokesman.”

Um how about charging them with sexual assault and if the victim was underage, how about we call that statutory rape.  Continuing to punish these predators with reduced rank and discharge from the military instead of jail time will not reduce the risk of sexual assault faced by every woman and girl who is considering joining the military, is in the military, is related to or dating someone in the military.

And in the meantime, military recruiters continue to prowl the halls of our schools in search of prey courtesy of the No Child Left Behind Act…

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 August 29, 2007  Posted by on August 29, 2007

  4 Responses to “The Never-Ending Assault on Women’s Lives: Military Recruiters Guilty of Sexual Misconduct, Will Serve No Jail Time”

  1. Um, how about learning the facts before you start acting like a barracks lawyer?

    1) These two were not charged with sexual assault because in their case not only were the women over legal age of consent but the sexual contact was “consensual” by society’s definition (though not the Air Force’s — which is a more stringent standard. Recruits can NOT consent to sex with recruiters because it is a crime in the Air Force for a recruiter to fraternize with recruits)
    2) The punishment they received cost them their careers, their pride, a solid source of pay and benefits, the possibility of retirement which would have given benefits for life, and lets not forget — a federal conviction that will leave them with limited employment opportunity for the rest of their lives. This is FAR FROM a slap on the wrist for what would be considered consensual sex outside of the military.

    Their conduct was totally inappropriate because of the position of trust and authority they enjoyed as recruiters and the gatekeepers to a military career. It was illegal under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Justice is what they got. No reason for you to downplay the severity of their punishment nor trump up the charges to more than what the crime was.

  2. I’m curious how you know that the women involved were not underage since according to the Knoxville News, the Air Force did not divulge the information:

    “The spokesmen declined to say where the incidents occurred and said a Freedom of Information Act request would have to be filed to obtain other details, including the ages of the men, the women, and Fehl’s whereabouts.”

    In the civilian world if a potential employer encourages or solicits sex from a potential employee, it’s a crime with a potential jail sentence. In the military it is merely sexual misconduct that rarely is punished beyond the administrative level.

  3. The basic premise still remains:

    The military has once again shown that it is not serious about stopping sexual assault in the ranks.

    Several soldiers who were denied conscientious objection status were given prison terms of up to 15 months for standing by their moral and religious beliefs. The military is more serious about stopping men and women from leaving the military than it is with grevious assault in the ranks.

  4. Admin:
    Because of the fact they were applicants, they were above legal age. One cannot even be considered an applicant until 17 — and they can’t sign up at that age without parental consent. If they weren’t applicants, the recruiters would not have likely been punished or even discovered. (However, adultery — if that was the case here — would be punished if discovered)

    Another comment that you made:

    “In the civilian world if a potential employer encourages or solicits sex from a potential employee, it’s a crime with a potential jail sentence. In the military it is merely sexual misconduct that rarely is punished beyond the administrative level.”

    Again — it helps to be familiar with the military judicial system before railing against it. These recruiters were NOT administratively punished. If they had been, they would have gotten Article 15s and lost a stripe (ie – pay and prestige) and/or gotten additional duty, etc. These are just a few common examples of “administrative punishment.”

    The recruiters in this case received courts-martial. They were convicted in federal court (already, much more serious than similar offenses in the civilian world) and KICKED OUT of the service which, as I alluded to in the earlier message, is a tremendous loss of pay, potential lucrative retirement, and severely limits future quality job prospects.

    I don’t know what laws you are citing that have civilians thrown in jail for having sex with potential hirees. The only time I’m aware of that being a “punishable” issue is if it is actual sexual harassment — ie, the sex is a condition of employment, etc. Even then, no real threat of jail… they’ll get fired or reprimanded at worst. These recruiters, to my knowledge, were not alleged to have made sex a condition of enlistment. In fact, in many of the cases I’ve seen, the sex is even consensual (ostensibly). The Air Force just doesn’t allow “consensual” to apply to sex between recruits and recruiters because of the implication of authority and power.

    Thanks for having the guts to post contrasting opinions. Open mindedness is a good thing.

    Marc L – can’t respond to your post because it makes little sense. Your premise and your reference are two different issues and they don’t support each other. At least take the time to make a good argument or statement before you step to me.

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