Household of slain Texas soldier Vanessa Guillen in search of $35 million in damages

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AUSTIN, Texas — The household of a Texas soldier who was was sexually harassed and killed at a navy base close to Killeen in 2020 filed a lawsuit Friday in search of $35 million in damages from the U.S. authorities.

The household of 20-year-old Vanessa Guillen is in search of damages on the idea of sexual harassment, abuse, assault, rape, sodomy and wrongful demise.

The younger lady’s demise sparked a social media motion with the hashtag #IAmVaessaGuillen.
AP/Carolyn Kaster

An investigation by navy officers into the demise of Guillen, who was killed by a fellow soldier at U.S. Military base Fort Hood, discovered that she was additionally sexually harassed and that leaders did not take acceptable motion. The lawsuit describes two cases by which Guillen was harassed throughout her time as a soldier and Guillen’s suicidal ideas because of dealing with the harassment, which she advised household that she didn’t report for concern of retaliation.

“This will probably be a chance for each sufferer to really feel not solely like they’ve a voice however that they are often made complete,” mentioned Natalie Khawam, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Guillen household.

The lawsuit follows a choice Thursday by a three-judge panel from the ninth U.S. Circuit Court docket of Appeals in San Francisco stating that an Military colonel may proceed with a lawsuit towards a former Air Pressure Normal over a sexual assault allegation. The court docket discovered {that a} legislation baring service members from in search of damages over accidents throughout service didn’t apply.

Guillen was declared lacking in April 2020. Her stays have been discovered that July, when the soldier accused of killing Guillen died by suicide following a confrontation with officers. A civilian confronted prices for allegedly serving to Robinson get rid of Guillen’s stays.

Guillen’s demise and claims by her household that she was harassed and assaulted on the Texas base sparked a social media motion of former and lively service members who got here ahead about their very own experiences within the navy with the hashtag #IAmVaessaGuillen. State and federal lawmakers have since handed laws in honor of Guillen that eliminated some authority from commanders and gave survivors extra choices to report.


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