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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

July-09-97

McKinney Hearing Continues

Brenda Hoster, the woman who originally brought charges of harassment against the Army's top enlisted man Sergeant Major of the Army Gene McKinney, has said she will be willing to testify at the pre-trial hearing assessing the charges under two conditions. Hoster and her attorney will ask the U.S. Military Court of Appeals to order lawyers for McKinney not to question her about her previous sex life. They will also ask the Appeals court to bar testimony in the hearing of General Dennis Reimer, Army Chief of Staff. Hoster claims that the character testimony of the General could unfairly influence the presiding officer in the case and could intimidate other witnesses in the trial.

Of her initial refusal to testify, Hoster commented, "I want to testify, [but] what I've seen these other women go through is absolutely ridiculous." She further commented, "This whole thing, this hearing, is about let's pit the boys against the girls. Let's see what we can dig up on the girls and let's get this over with." Defense attorneys are inundating other women who have brought charges against McKinney with question after question about their sexual past.

Of the General's testimony she added, "Here's the top leader for soldiers. He's going to come in and say, 'Hey, this guy has great character. There's no way he could have done any of these things.' Where does that leave me and the other three (victims)? It's definitely a slap in the face to all of us and it's a slap in the face to any other victims out there or who will be out there in the future." Hoster said she would be more than willing to testify as soon as the Army started "playing by the rules" during the hearing. The goal of the hearing is to determine whether charges brought against McKinney, the Armys top enlisted man, warrant a court-martial.

In related news, the father-in-law of one of the other female accusers testified on July 8th that the woman felt betrayed by McKinney's sexual advances. Career Army Sergeant Major Harold Lewis testified that his daughter-in-law, Sgt. Christine Roy who claims McKinney pursued her with constant calls and had sex with her against her will while she was eight months pregnant, told him she felt uncomfortable with McKinney's advances. He testified, "I asked if he had called her a lot. She said, 'Yes.' I asked if he had said anything on the phone that made her uncomfortable. She said, 'Yes.' I told her to report it immediately."

Media Resources: The New York Times - July 9, 1997 and USA Today - July 8, 1997


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