Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

March-16-98

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


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

9/12/2014 Violence Against Women Act Turns 20 - Saturday will be the 20th Anniversary of the groundbreaking federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Passed in 1994, VAWA was the first piece of federal legislation to specifically address domestic violence and sexual assault as crimes and to provide federal funding to improve local response to violence against women, including training and resources for law enforcement and judges. President Barack Obama on Tuesday issued a proclamation commemorating the VAWA anniversary. . . .
 
9/12/2014 Indiana Woman Charged With Feticide For Premature Delivery - An Indiana woman has been charged with feticide after she delivered prematurely and sought hospital treatment. Purvi Patel, 33, sought help at an emergency room for vaginal bleeding where it was discovered that she had delivered prematurely at home. . . .
 
9/11/2014 Missouri Legislators Pass 72-Hour Abortion Waiting Period Law - Missouri legislators voted late last night to triple the state's current 24-hour waiting period to 72 hours, with no exceptions for rape or incest. Governor Jay Nixon previously vetoed the bill in July, calling it "extreme and disrespectful." Missouri's House voted 117-44 to override the veto, and then the Senate used a procedural move to stop a Democratic filibuster of the bill and vote 23-7 to complete the veto override Wednesday. "The only purpose of a 72-hour waiting period is to attempt to punish, shame, and demean women who have arrived at a personal decision that politicians happen to disagree with," said the president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights in a statement. . . .