Penn State frat member faces no jail time over pledge’s death

first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(STATE COLLEGE, Pa.) — The first member of a Penn State fraternity to be sentenced in connection to the death of a pledge will not face any jail time.Ryan Burke was the first of more than 20 members of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity to be sentenced in connection to criminal charges related to the death of Tim Piazza, who died in February of 2017.Burke, 21, was sentenced to probation, fines, legal costs and restitution to the Piazza family.Burke pleaded guilty to four counts of hazing and five counts relating to unlawful acts involving liquor.“This is a tragedy and he is anxious to make amends,” Burke’s attorney Philip Masorti said in January after entering the guilty plea, according to the Bridgewater Courier News. “There are too few words to describe a loss so great. This young man understands that.”On the night of Feb. 2, 2017, after taking part in a hazing ritual known as the “Gauntlet,” a heavily intoxicated Piazza was heard falling down the stairs at the Beta Theta Pi house, and later found lying face down at the bottom.Fraternity members carried him upstairs and put him on a couch, where they dumped water on his face and slapped him in an apparent attempt to wake him, to no avail, according to a grand jury report which cited evidence including surveillance video, witness testimony and phone records. When one pledge tried to intervene, insisting they get Piazza some help, the pledge was shoved into a wall and was told that the brothers had it under control, according to the grand jury report.As the night went on, Piazza, a 19-year-old sophomore, tried over and over to stand on his own, falling each time and eventually going still, according to the grand jury report.No one called 911 until the next morning, when his breathing was labored and his skin had turned gray.Prosecutors have claimed the brothers waited to get Piazza help in an attempt to cover up their drinking and “coordinate a story.”Piazza died on Feb. 4 of traumatic brain injuries.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Man arrested after intentionally ramming his truck into the building of a Fox affiliate station: Police

first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(DALLAS) — A man has been arrested after he intentionally rammed a truck into Dallas FOX 4 news station’s building multiple times Wednesday morning, according to the TV station. Police do not believe he was directly targeting the media. The man’s motive remains unclear.No one inside the building was hurt. The suspect, 34-year-old Michael Fry, was arrested and charged with second-degree felony criminal mischief. Fry has a history of prior arrests in neighboring Denton County, officials confirmed to ABC News.After crashing the truck into the studio, Dallas Police say Fry placed a bag from his vehicle by the building. The bag and the suspect’s truck were cleared by the bomb squad after no suspicious devices were found.Fry was found in an agitated state, rambling nonsense when deputies arrived at the studio near 6:00 a.m., said Dallas Police Senior Corporal Debra Webb.A slew of papers had been scattered across the parking lot with remarks about an officer-involved shooting in Denton County.Among the papers were printouts from a 2012 article by ABC affiliate WFAA-TV regarding an officer-involved shooting in Denton County, when the driver, Roberto Carlos Hernandez, was accused of ramming a sheriff deputy’s cruiser. Hernandez was fatally shot by the deputy, and Fry was a passenger in the vehicle, WFAA-TV reports.Fry covered the 2012 article copy with expressions including “witchery,” “conspiracies,” and “we need the calvary”.He was transported to Parkland Hospital for evaluation, where he was released and then moved to a Dallas County jail. It’s unclear if Fry has hired a lawyer as of yet to represent him.Cameras captured the moment authorities walked Fry into the jail, and he cried to reporters, “Please don’t let anything happen to me… Please don’t let them punish me for trying to stay alive. They committed a high treason against me.”Fry pleaded to reporters, saying he’s not smart or powerful enough and is mentally challenged.“They were trying to kill me, and they missed and they killed Roberto Carlos Hernandez. Ever since I’ve been running for my life and I don’t know what to do,” he said, before adding, “I just wanted to get the media to do their job.”WFAA-TV stands by the facts in the original article covering the October 2012 shooting, according to a statement released by WFAA President and General Manager Brad Ramsey.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Nashville Police Department retaliated against officer who reported rape: Lawsuit

first_imgCourtesy Officer Monica Blake(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — A Nashville Police officer has filed a federal lawsuit against her employer, accusing the department of retaliating against her after she reported that she was raped by a fellow officer.On May 2, 2016, Officer Monica Blake, 36, was strangled and sexually assaulted allegedly by another officer, Julian Pirtle, in her home while that officer was drunk, according to the lawsuit, filed Friday in the Middle District of Tennessee.Blake had been romantically involved with Pirtle “off-and-on for a number of years,” up until that point, the civil complaint stated.Blake was “terrified” by the attack and thought Pirtle was going to kill her, according to the lawsuit. She did not immediately report the attack but stopped seeing and communicating with the man, the lawsuit said.On May 10, 2016, Pirtle showed up to McKissack Middle School, where Blake was assigned as a school resource officer, to talk to her about what happened, the civil complaint stated. Blake “surreptitiously” recorded the conversation, which included Pirtle allegedly admitting to choking her, as well as him referring to himself as “a killer” and “The Hulk,” according to the court document. Blake then reported the attack to the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, but did not disclose that she was raped until May 23, 2016.The next day, Pirtle was charged with aggravated domestic assault and decommissioned, a press release by the Metropolitan Government of Nashville showed. A temporary order of protection was also issued against Pirtle that day, and he was later charged with rape, online criminal court records showed.Pirtle is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.Trouble for Blake began after she reported the attack, she told ABC News. The lawsuit names the Metropolitan Government of Nashville-Davidson County and Cmdr. Janet Marlene Pardue in her role as Blake’s supervisor, as defendents.First, Blake’s shift was changed from the morning to evening shift, and when Blake submitted a hardship request asking to be assigned to a different detail “due to the trauma she had experienced” as well as due to her childcare responsibilities, Pardue moved her shift back to mornings but required her to work a weekend day as well, the lawsuit stated.In addition, when Blake asked to move her start time to an hour later so she could take her kids to school, Pardue agreed, but said she would have to use her vacation time for that hour, Blake said, adding that she used up several vacation days as a result.It was then that Blake had an inkling she was being retaliated against, because she was aware that similar requests made to Pardue had been granted without issue, Blake said. The retaliation became “continuous” after that point, she said.On June 8, 2016, Pirtle violated the order of protection by texting Blake, and Blake reported the violation to the department, documents stated. That same day, Davidson County’s Jean Crowe Advocacy Center sent an “Outstanding Officer” commendation on behalf of Blake to Pardue in recognition of “Blake’s excellent work on a particular domestic violence case,” according to the lawsuit.Pardue then decommissioned Blake on June 15, 2016, the court document stated. Blake’s police powers were stripped, and she was required to turn in her badge, gun and radio, she said. She returned to work later that summer after completing a psyche evaluation, she added.Then, in October 2017, Pardue initiated two disciplinary investigations into Blake for her handling of situations at McKissack Middle School, one of which she had already been exonerated for, and the other, a “truthfulness allegation” against Blake’s claim that she’d taken her utility belt off before entering her car, had been proven false by surveillance video from the middle school, according to the civil complaint.Blake, who has been working with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department since 2005, had “received only a handful of minor disciplinary infractions” from the police department up until 2014, and between 2010 and 2013, her performance reviews averaged a 3 on a 4-point scale, with “3” ranking as “Commendable,” according to the lawsuit.On Oct. 17, 2017, Pardue informed Blake that she would be “indefinitely restricted from any secondary employment privileges,” without giving a reason or providing a process to contest it, according to the civil complaint.Pardue also indicated to Pirtle’s defense attorney in December 2017 that she would be “willing to testify on behalf of Pirtle by alleging that Officer Blake is a dishonest person,” according to the complaint.In January of this year, Pirtle pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, but the rape charge against him was dropped, criminal records showed. He was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to stay away from Blake.The plea bargain prosecutors offered Pirtle kept his name off the sex offender registry and will allow him to expunge his record if he completes three years of probation successfully, according to Blake’s lawsuit.After Pirtle was convicted, Blake then became concerned that Pardue would “use any excuse to provoke a conflict, make false allegations against her, or even physically harm her,” according to the lawsuit.Blake was temporary assigned to the North Precinct after expressing her concerns to human resources. On Jan. 29, when she and her attorney showed up to the West Precinct for a settlement hearing on the two disciplinary investigations from October, she appeared unarmed and out of uniform “in order to minimize the chances of escalating the conflict with Pardue,” the complaint stated. A lieutenant who asked Blake why she was out of uniform then advised her to write a supplement to human resources detailing her concerns.When Blake also appeared in civilian clothes for a Feb. 12 meeting, Pardue questioned why she was out of uniform and unarmed, according to the complaint.Blake responded, “I have explained in detail why I’m not comfortable being armed at this point around you particularly,” which another lieutenant who was present constituted as a “threat” to Pardue, the complaint stated.That lieutenant advised Pardue to “review the recording” of her interaction with Blake, and after doing so, Pardue referred the “threat” to MNPD Deputy Chief Brian Johnson, according to the lawsuit.Later that day, Johnson reviewed the recording and “immediately decommissioned” Blake, the lawsuit said. Pardue filed an incident report the next day, characterizing the alleged threat as “assault by intimidation,” the court document stated. Blake returned to work again on April 13 after undergoing another psyche evaluation, she said.After that, a barrage of complaints were filed against Blake.One for a March 26 Facebook post she made stating that a community oversight board would help relations between the police and the public, and another for a 2012 video in which “Blake had done a video testimonial for the website of a magician, which she did not have permission for from the police chief, violating MNPD policy,” the lawsuit alleged.Another complaint stated that Blake violated MNPD’s “secondary employment” policy in 2013, about five years earlier, by hosting a “Princess House” party without the department’s authorization, and another was filed for “assault” for the comment she made to Pardue on Feb. 12, according to the complaint.Blake has been given 41 suspensions since first reporting the attack in 2017, she said. If an officer receives 30 or more suspension days in a calendar year, he or she will be terminated, under MNPD policy, the lawsuit stated.Blake may have been retaliated against for not adhering to the “blue code,” a “cultural ethos” that “asserts that police officers must identify as police officers first, must always take up for other officers, and must never report on other officers’ misconduct,” according to the civil complaint.But, Pardue’s discrimination toward Blake allegedly began long before she reported the attack, the lawsuit alleged. Pardue began “making life difficult” for Blake the moment she assumed command of the West Precinct in 2012, the complaint stated.The lawsuit also accused Pardue of “typically” favoring male officers over female officers, giving one example of Pardue “accommodating the work-related requests of male officers more frequently and easily than similar requests by female officers.” The lawsuit also accused Pardue as being “personally hostile to African-Americans who raise the issue of racism in America, especially if they raise it in the context of the criminal justice system.”The “retaliation” by Pardue has caused Blake “to suffer emotional harm as well as lost income,” the complaint alleged. Blake is still on patrol as a school resource officer, but now is assigned to a high school in the North Precinct, she said.Blake told ABC News she filed the lawsuit after exhausting “every possible way to try and resolve the conflict.”“But, because of the culture of the police department, at every turn, either the complaints fell on deaf ears, or inadequate investigations would occur, or they would not include me in the investigation at all,” she said.Blake said she also hoped the lawsuit would “hold the people who have done wrong accountable for their actions,” adding that she hoped to change the culture within the police department.“We can’t call ourselves the guardians of Nashville and not stand up in every situation,” she said.The lawsuit requested a jury trial, nominal damages, compensatory and punitive damages in an amount to be determined by the jury, attorneys fees, court costs and a restraining order against the department “as soon as possible.”When asked for comment, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department directed ABC News to the Metropolitan Nashville Department of Law, which will be defending the police department in the lawsuit. A spokesman for the Department of Law declined to comment on the pending federal court litigation to ABC News. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

2 dead, several injured as car hits pedestrians in New Orleans while city celebrates Mardi Gras: Police

first_imgOrleans Parish Sheriff’s Office(NEW ORLEANS) — Two people are dead and several others were injured after a car allegedly crashed into a number of bicyclists and pedestrians in New Orleans — about two miles away from the Mardi Gras festivities, police said.The New Orleans Police Department said it has a suspect involved with the crash in custody. The driver is undergoing standard testing, but police said they believe the driver was intoxicated.Tashonty Toney, 32, has been charged with two counts of vehicular homicide, seven counts of vehicular negligent injury, hit and run and reckless operation.Police held a press conference late Saturday and said eight people were struck in total, including two dead on scene and five who were transported to the hospital. Three of those transported are in critical condition, police said. One person refused transport to the hospital.A man and woman, both around 30 years old, were killed, according to The Associated Press.The accident happened on the 3200 block of Esplanade Avenue, a couple miles northwest of the French Quarter. It does not appear to have any connection to the festivities.Police said they already have footage of the incident from three different surveillance cameras.The driver struck people over a course of three blocks.“Initial reports show two victims were struck by a vehicle at the location. The victims were pronounced dead on scene by EMS,” the New Orleans Police Department tweeted.The incident happened in the Bayou St. John neighborhood as revelers began celebrating Carnival a short distance away on Bourbon Street. The celebrations are picking up in advance of Fat Tuesday, which closes out the celebrations this week.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

More severe storms expected in Midwest, Northeast

first_imgABC News(NEW YORK) — There were more than 200 damaging storm reports on Wednesday, mostly along the East Coast from New England to the Carolinas, including an EF0 tornado in Springfield, New Jersey, and flash flooding as a result of 3 inches of rain in Hartford, Connecticut.On Thursday, the severe storms will be in the eastern Great Lakes, parts of inland Northeast and into Ohio Valley, including Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Syracuse.The biggest threat Thursday will be damaging winds and large hail. In areas where the storms persist the longest, heavy rain could produce flash flooding.Heat and fire dangerThe Southern heat wave continues from Texas to Alabama, where seven states are under a heat advisory.The heat index is forecast to reach nearly 110 degrees in some areas, making it dangerous just to be outdoors.Several wildfires and brush fires broke out Wednesday from California to Washington as dry, gusty and hot winds swept over the area.Six Western states — from California to Montana — are under heat and fire alerts Thursday as more gusty winds and dry conditions are expected.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Florida school resource officer fired after video shows him yanking young girl’s hair

first_imgOrange County Sheriffs Office(MIAMI) — A Florida school resource officer has been fired and faces an investigation after a video surfaced on social media showing him yanking a middle school student by her hair.Following outrage, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office released body cam footage of the incident Friday. In the video, officers are shown responding to a fight that broke out between students outside Westridge Middle School in Orlando, Florida. It shows one deputy holding a girl against the trunk of a car, with her arms held behind her back.The officer, who is white, then grabs the girl, who is black, by a hair scarf, pulling her head back and saying, “You’re the one who started this s— at school. … I’m tired of this s—.”He then drags the girl to a police car and puts her in the back seat. The girl was briefly detained before being released to a parent, authorities said.Authorities have not identified the officer involved in the incident.In a press conference Friday, Orange County Sheriff John Mina described the officer’s conduct as “out of control.”“I am extremely upset, disappointed and outraged by the conduct of our deputy sheriff in this instance,” Mina said. “I want the community to know that this type of behavior is not going to be tolerated at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.”Mina told reporters that he had been made aware of the video on Friday morning, and that after reviewing it and footage from the department’s own body cameras, the decision was made to terminate the deputy’s employment.Footage from a body camera worn by another deputy responding to the incident showed him addressing the same student moments before the now-fired deputy intervened. The first deputy is heard telling the girl to relax, and saying he is not yelling at her.“The school resource deputy showed up and actually escalated the situation and made it worse,” Mina said.The department’s internal affairs section is conducting its own investigation of the incident, the findings of which will be turned over to the State’s Attorney’s Office to see if criminal charges are warranted.Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Storm with heavy snow, strong winds slams Midwest Friday, Northeast Saturday

first_imgABC News(NEW YORK) — A major storm continues to march east Friday morning with alerts issued across the country from California to Massachusetts.The storm brought several feet of snow from Washington state to the California mountains and winds gusts over 100 mph. There is so much snow in some towns in Washington that people are stranded in their homes.The storm has also brought heavy rain to the San Francisco Bay area, causing flash flooding.There are alerts Friday morning from California to Massachusetts, with blizzard warnings issued for North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota.As of Friday morning, the storm system is moving out of the Rockies and into the heartland, with freezing rain and sleet from western Texas to Kansas and Missouri, causing icy roads that are leading to accidents.Friday afternoon and evening, the storm system will strengthen and bring heavy snow and blizzard conditions to the Upper Midwest with snow even reaching Chicago.The heaviest snow will fall in the western Great Lakes, while Chicago will change to ice and rain overnight as some warmer air tries to work its way into the strengthening storm.By Saturday, snow will move into the Northeast and even into Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.By evening hours, snow will change to rain in Philadelphia and New York, but stay as all snow from northern Pennsylvania into New England.The next few days will see additional snow and ice accumulation with this storm.The heaviest snow will fall from Minneapolis to Michigan and into New England, where some areas could see more than 10” of snow.Lower snowfall amounts are expected in Chicago, with maybe 2 to 5 inches. Around a half a foot is expected in Detroit, with up to a foot of snow possible in parts of New England’s higher elevations.Philadelphia and New York City will see maybe 1 to 3 inches, which will then change to rain. In Boston, 3 to 4 inches of snow is possible.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Rayshard Brooks’ funeral to be held at same church where MLK was mourned

first_imgStewart Trial AttorneysBy EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News(ATLANTA) — Friends and family will gather on Tuesday for the funeral of Rayshard Brooks, a black man who was shot dead in a Wendy’s parking lot by an Atlanta police officer.Brooks, a 27-year-old husband, father and stepfather, was running away from two officers on the night of June 12 when he died from two bullets to the back.Brooks’ 1 p.m. funeral will be held at Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his first sermon and was later eulogized after his assassination in 1968.Brooks was fatally shot after officers were called to the parking lot for reports of a man asleep in his car. Police gave Brooks a Breathalyzer test, which registered a blood-alcohol level of .108%, above the legal limit of .08%.When officers tried to put him in handcuffs, Brooks struggled, wrestled with both officers on the ground and then grabbed an officer’s stun gun.Surveillance video showed Brooks running through the parking lot with the officers behind him. At one point, Brooks turned and allegedly shot the stun gun at one of the officers, Garrett Rolfe, who drew his weapon and opened fire.When Brooks was shot by Rolfe, he “did not pose an immediate threat of death or serious physical injury,” said Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard Jr.Rolfe has been fired and is facing charges including felony murder and aggravated assault. If convicted of felony murder, Rolfe could face the death penalty, prosecutors said.The second officer at the scene, Devin Brosnan, was charged with violations of oath and aggravated assault for allegedly standing on Brooks’ shoulder after he was shot.Defense attorneys say Rolfe’s actions were justified under the law and that Brosnan never pulled out his gun and tried to stabilize Brooks.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

11 people shot, 1 person dead in overnight shooting spree

first_imgiStock/MattGushBy: JON HAWORTH, ABC News(MINNEAPOLIS) — Eleven people have been shot and one person has been killed in an overnight shooting in Minneapolis.The incident began on Sunday morning at 12:37 a.m. when multiple calls were made to the emergency services regarding numerous people being shot on the 2900 block of Hennepin Avenue South.The shooting was done by more than one person, according to the Minneapolis Police Department, and the suspects reportedly approached the crime scene on foot when they began to open fire.“Police arrived and located several people suffering from gunshot wounds,” the Minneapolis Police Department said in a press release. “Multiple ambulances responded and transported victims to Hennepin County Medical Center. Others were transported to area hospitals in private vehicles.”There were a total of 12 victims in the shooting. One adult male died at the hospital and the remaining 11 adult victims are all receiving treatment for non-life-threatening injuries suffered in the incident.Authorities have not yet confirmed exactly how many shooters there were but say that the suspects involved all fled the scene and are currently on the run.The Minneapolis Police Department is currently investigating the circumstances around the shooting and have not yet disclosed a possible motive for the attack.Police say that the investigation is ongoing and interviews of witnesses in the area are being done along and videos of the crime scene are also being reviewed.The identity of the adult male victim who died is expected to be released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office in the coming days.No one is in custody at this time and authorities have not provided a description of the suspects yet. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Family of missing Fort Hood soldier speaks out, urges no one enlist until ‘we get justice’

first_imgU.S. ArmyBy ABBY CRUZ, LUIS MARTINEZ and CHRISTINA CARREGA, ABC News(NEW YORK) — As unanswered questions loom over missing Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen, her family members spoke out about holding on to hope that the system that “failed her” can improve to help others.“Since she was little, she wanted to join the Army to have better opportunities for herself and for my parents, to be someone in life, to be someone important,” Lupe Guillen, her sister, told ABC News on Wednesday, fighting back tears. “That’s why she wanted to join, to protect and serve. But yet they failed her.”Vanessa Guillen, 20, was last seen in a parking lot on the Fort Hood base on April 22, according to the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command. Since her disappearance, her rank was upgraded to specialist from private first class.Investigators found unidentified human remains on June 30 about 20 miles away from the base that are being analyzed. Natalie Khawam, an attorney for the Guillen family, believes them to be Vanessa’s, but the Army has not independently confirmed that.A suspect investigators say they’ve connected to Vanessa Guillen’s disappearance died by suicide on Wednesday morning after being confronted by Killeen, Texas, police officers and federal marshals. That suspect was identified on Thursday as Aaron David Robinson, 20.Robinson’s death by suicide, Khawam added, is “leaving us still with no information,” a big reason why Vanessa Guillen’s family is calling for a Congressional investigation.A previously unidentified female suspect, described by authorities as “the estranged wife of a former Fort Hood soldier,” also has been taken into custody. She’s since been identified as 22-year-old Cecily Aguilar of Killeen.Khawam told ABC News that CID officials told her Aguilar had made a confession, but there hadn’t been an arrest warrant issued for Robinson, “which is really disturbing.”Aguilar, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, has been charged with with one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence.Robinson, according to the criminal complaint, told Aguilar “he killed a female soldier by striking her in the head with a hammer” on April 22 at Fort Hood, and Aguilar helped him dispose of the victim’s body.The Guillen family and Khawam said at a press conference on Wednesday that Robinson was Vanessa Guillen’s superior, and accused him of sexually harassing her.But at a news conference at Fort Hood on Thursday, Damon Phelps, the Army’s lead investigator in the case, described Robinson as a coworker who was not in her chain of command. Phelps disputed the family’s claim that Guillen had been harassed by Robinson.“There is no credible information that Specialist Robinson sexually harassed Specialist Guillen,” Phelps said.Lupe and Mayra Guillen said their sister’s fear of reporting a sex-related crime in the military isn’t uncommon.“She was afraid to report it. She reported it to her friends. She reported it to her family. She even reported to other soldiers on base, but she didn’t want to do a formal report because she was afraid of retaliation and being blackballed, and she, like most victims, just tried to deal with it herself,” Lupe Guillen told ABC News on Wednesday.Lupe Guillen said she started the “Find Vanessa Guillen” Instagram account after her sister was reported missing. With over 100,000 followers, the hashtag #findvanessaguillen became an outlet for others.Hundreds of military members have reacted to the account, airing their own grievances in the comment section or in private messages. Like Vanessa Guillen, many said they were afraid to speak up.The Pentagon’s latest report on sex-related crimes in the military showed a 3% increase in the number of sexual assaults reported in the 2019 fiscal year — 6,236 compared with 6,053 a year earlier.The report said the military received 1,021 formal sexual harassment complaints, a 10% increase from 2018.ABC News reported in May that the number of sexual assaults at the three military service academies spiked by 32% over the last year, with 149 reports of sexual assault involving a cadet or midshipman as a victim and/or subject during the 2018-2019 academic year.In the wake of Vanessa Guillen’s disappearance and claims by her family, the Army launched an investigation into a program at Fort Hood that’s intended to support sexual harassment or sexual assault victims.The Army has sent a seven-member inspection team to the base at the request of the base’s senior leadership for a week-long investigation into how the program operates, assessing whether the command climate is supportive of soldiers who step forward.Data from the 2018 RAND study that looked at sexual prevalence in the military found that in fiscal year 2014 Fort Hood had the highest number of reported sexual assaults and rapes of any U.S. military facility worldwide.The 885 reported sexual assaults from October 2014 through September 2015 made the sprawling base the 10th riskiest Army facility for female soldiers that year and the eighth riskiest for male soldiers.Fort Hood also has been rocked by a number of scandals, including a prostitution ring discovered in 2014.At this time, the Guillen family and Khawam said they want justice not just for Vanessa but for all members of the military.The family wants to host a large protest outside military bases, including Fort Hood, pass a bill called “I am Vanessa Guillen” to help protect both men and women from sexual harassment, and urge people not to enlist in the military until justice is served.“Knowing that this could happen to anyone, knowing that there’s more victims out there, would you let your child, your son or daughter, sign a contract with the Army knowing that their life is at risk?” said Lupe Guillen, tears streaming down her cheeks. “My sister deserves to be protected. Your child deserves to be protected. Don’t let them recruit you until we get justice — until Vanessa gets justice.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more