McKinney's First Accuser Refuses to Testify Citing Harassment of Other Accusers
In February, retired Sgt. Major Brenda L. Hoster's allegations of sexual misconduct against Sergeant Major of the Army, Gene C. McKinney, kicked off an investigation of the actions of the Army's top enlisted man. The Army is currently conducting a preliminary hearing into Hoster's and other women's allegations, against McKinney. But Susan Barnes, Brenda Hoster's attorney, says her client will not voluntarily testify at the hearing because Barnes thinks "the Army is punishing these women [for coming forward.]" Hoster complains that the Army has failed to protect the women accusing McKinney from unfair invasions into their private lives. In a letter to the Army prosecutors on the case, Barnes reiterated these sentiments and added that the decision of the Army's chief of staff, Dennis J Reimer, decision to issue a statement in support of McKinney even before the hearing is completed "makes a fair and impartial pretrial investigation impossible."
The hearing will decide whether or not McKinney will face a court martial for his actions. Army prosecutors are deciding whether or not to recall Hoster to active duty, thus allowing them to force her to testify. Two other women testifying against McKinney have faced personal attacks on their characters by defense attorneys. One woman had to change her job location because of the treatment she received from co-workers after accusing McKinney of sexual misconduct. She said, "People I thought I knew, I didn't know. People are judging me."
Media Resources: The Washington Post - July 2, 1997
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .