Sgt. Maj. McKinney Found Not Guilty of Sexual Misconduct
Sgt. Maj. Gene C. McKinney, the Army’s former top enlisted man, was acquitted of 18 counts of sexual misconduct by a military jury. McKinney was convicted on one count of obstructing justice in lieu of a telephone conversation in which he told an accuser to testify that no wrong-doing had taken place.
The women who testified against McKinney were “shocked” at the verdict. Plaintiff’s attorney Susan Barnes said, “Women were put on trial here. Eventually women will be able to get justice in an Army court. But they didn’t get it in here.”
Some of the women who testified will be leaving their Army posts. Sentencing for the obstruction of justice charge will be issued today. McKinney faces up to 5 years in jail, loss of rank and benefits.
Sgt. Maj. McKinney may have been acquitted for sexual misconduct, but the case is forcing military personnel to rethink their own behavior, says Anne Coughlin, a professor at the University of Virginia Law School. Retired Army Col. Harry Summers commented, “This case is a warning to us that something’s wrong .... And I think it’s a warning to everybody in the military to mind their P’s and Q’s.”
Coughlin also stated that women, who make up about 14 percent of the military, may be discouraged from bringing forth sexual misconduct charges, after the McKinney trial in which the plaintiffs’ character was routinely brought into question.
The Army shut down its sexual harassment hotline last year. The hotline, which was created after scores of women reported incidents at the Aberdeen Proving Ground training center in Maryland, received more than 8,300 calls. The hotline was discontinued in an effort to encourage military personnel to “go through the normal chain of command to lodge complaints,” said Army officials.
Media Resources: Washington Post, AP - March 14, 1998
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .