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Women Raped at U.S. Military Academies File Lawsuit
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Following on the heels of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s announcement to curb thousands of sexual assaults occurring each year within the military comes a revealing lawsuit. Two women, Leah Marquet 20, a former West Point Cadet and Anne Kendzior, 22, forced to leave the Naval Academy, allege that the United States Military Academy in West Point and Naval Academy in Annapolis are hotbeds of sexual assaults.

Both accuse of being raped during their stay in the elite military schools and accuse administration of siding with the assaulters.

The plaintiffs state in their lawsuit “Both institutions systematically and repeatedly ignore rampant sexual harassment … Both institutions have a history of failing to prosecute and punish those students found to have sexually assaulted and raped by their fellow students.”

  
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The lawsuit has been filed in Manhattan federal court and both women allege that the alleged institutions discourage victims from reporting sexual assaults.

Marquet says she was pressured by senior students to get drunk at West Point and was raped while she was intoxicated. After she reported the assault, other students taunted her and the school got back at her by forcing her to attend and remove the rapist’s trash. After becoming suicidal, she quit West Point.

Kendzior says she was raped twice by two different fellow students while she was drunk. When she reported the assaults to the authorities they pressured her to drop out of the Naval Academy.

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U.S. Navy Commander William Marks, a spokesman of the Naval Academy declined to comment on the lawsuit but commented that the Naval Academy’s “sexual assault response and advocacy program is among the strongest in the nation.” Officials at West Point and Pentagon did not provide any feedback.

The cases by these two young women are not isolated incidents. Last month, a lawsuit was filed in a federal court in Washington by eight women alleging that they were raped, assaulted and sexually harassed while in the military and complaints received retaliation.





 

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