Vanessa Guillén Was Sexually Harassed by Fort Hood Soldier Before Murder, Army Says

Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen, who was found dead last summer, had previously been sexually harassed by a supervisor, but her unit leadership did not take action.

via: New York Post

The Army announced that it had taken disciplinary action against 21 officers and non-commissioned officers at the troubled Texas base in connection with Guillén’s murder.

Eight senior commanders were fired — but no criminal charges were brought against any of the soldiers as a result of the investigation, military leaders said.

The probe, led by Gen. John Murray, head of Army Futures Command, concluded that Guillén had been sexually harassed by another soldier, who authorities said was among those sanctioned.

The punishments are the latest Army moves in response to Guillén’s disappearance and death.

The 20-year-old was missing for about two months before her remains were found buried in a shallow grave last year. The solider who bludgeoned her to death with a hammer and dismembered her later killed himself.

The Army blamed officials for letting Guillén’s killer — Spc. Aaron Robinson — escape custody and kill himself.

Investigators offered no motive for the murder, but concluded that Robinson did not sexually harass Guillén. Instead, the report said Robinson sexually harassed another soldier.

Guillén family disputed that finding in an interview Friday.

“If you can’t say why he murdered her, you can’t say he didn’t sexually harass her,” family attorney Natalie Khawam said.

Among the senior leaders disciplined were Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt, former Deputy Commanding General of III Corps, and Col. Ralph Overland and Command Sgt. Maj. Bradley Knapp.

Base commander Army Lt. Gen. Pat White escaped any punishment because he was deployed to Iraq for much of the year.

Since Guillen’s death, Fort Hood has come under scrutiny after multiple soldiers were either reported missing or dead. Last August, Sgt. Elder Fernandes was found hanging from a tree after being reported missing from base a week earlier. Before his death, he had been transferred to another unit because he was a victim of an “abusive sexual contact.”

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