Rodriguez pleaded guilty to six charges and 23 cases of wrongdoing and was convicted by a jury on charges of aggravated sexual assault, aggravated sexual contact, abusive sexual contact, wrongful sexual contact, indecent exposure, and non-forcible sodomy. Jurors acquitted him of charges of rape and forcible sodomy. He faced up to 116 years in prison.
Rodriguez's sentence is the longest prison term to date in an Air Force scandal. funny pictures
During his hearing, Rodriguez revealed patterns of sexually violent and abusive behavior which he initiated with victims as young as 17. According to his testimony, he would often initiate or attempt to initiate sexual relationships with recruits upon their first meeting at his Houston-area office, following up his flirtatious behavior with texts, phone calls, and Yahoo! instant messages about sex and sometimes containing graphic sexual imagery. He would attempt to make clear during these liaisons that the victims were not to talk to people about what was happening. Many women left the Air Force or pursued careers in other branches of the armed forces after their experiences with Rodriguez.
"I was very innocent and naive," one victim testified. She was on active duty when Rodriguez and another recruiter began asking her sexually explicit questions on her second day in the force. "I had never been in a situation like that before," she added on the stand.
Another victim received, according to records, 934 phone calls or text messages from Rodriguez between September and October 2011. These were made from his government-issued cell phone. "It became more, like, predatory," she testified, explaining that he had been professional during their initial meeting but then began frequently contacting her. Her mother eventually discovered suggestive images on her cell phone, including a photograph of Rodriguez in his boxers, which she found "disturbing." According to a Marine recruiter, Rodriguez later sought to create and send fraudulent email correspondence from her mother claiming that she wouldn�t press charges.
In addition to Rodriguez�s prison sentence, he was reduced in rank to the lowest in the Air Force of airman basic. He will be dishonorably discharged once he leaves prison. He will forfeit all pay and allowances.
Media Resources: Reuters 6/14/2013; San Antonio Express News 1/8/2013, 6/7/2013; WUSA9 6/16/2014
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .