Vanessa Guillen: Family files $35M lawsuit against US government

The 20-year-old Texas soldier was sexually harassed and killed at Fort Hood. Her household says she was additionally the sufferer of abuse, assault, rape and wrongful dying.

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

The lawsuit says 20-year-old Vanessa Guillen was the sufferer of sexual harassment, abuse, assault, rape, sodomy and wrongful dying.

An investigation by army officers into the dying of Guillen, who was killed by a fellow soldier at U.S. Army base Fort Hood, discovered that she was additionally sexually harassed and that leaders did not take acceptable motion.

RELATED: More protection of Vanessa Guillen case

The lawsuit describes two situations by which Guillen was harassed throughout her time as a soldier and Guillen’s suicidal ideas on account of dealing with the harassment, which she instructed household that she didn’t report for concern of retaliation.

“This will be an opportunity for every victim to feel not only like they have a voice but that they can be made whole,” mentioned Natalie Khawam, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Guillen household.

Guillen’s sister, Mayra, tweeted about the lawsuit Friday evening saying that her household’s struggle for justice was not over.

“The nightmare is still persistent today but a promise is a promise,” Mayra wrote.

The lawsuit follows a choice Thursday by a three-judge panel from the ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco stating that an Army colonel might proceed with a lawsuit against a former Air Force General 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 had 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 Spc. Aaron Robinson eliminate Guillen’s stays.

Guillen’s dying and claims by her household that she was harassed and assaulted on the Texas base sparked a social media movement of former and lively service members who got here ahead about their very own experiences within the army 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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