Hearings Begin on Harassment Charges Against Army’s Highest-Ranking Sergeant
Hearings began this week to determine whether the Army's highest-ranking enlisted soldier should be court-martialed for alleged charges of indecent assault, adultery, and obstruction of justice. Sgt. Christine A. Roy, a key witness for the prosecution, testified against Sgt. Maj. Gene McKinney on June 26. She was disappointed to learn that, because of loopholes in the law, McKinney faces lesser charges than she believes he deserves. The case is highly political because of McKinney's high-profile position.
During her testimony, Roy said McKinney pressured her into having sex with him even though they are both married. She eventually consented because she did not want to jeopardize her career. Her concerns for McKinney's effect on her career stem from the fact that the male soldier holds an office in the Pentagon and advises the chief of staff on all matters relating to enlisted personnel. Roy and two other women who have accused McKinney are subject to his orders. McKinney denies all charges and claims his four accusers, who are white, are discriminating against him because he is black. The second alleged victim was scheduled to testify on June 27 in the preliminary hearing. After the preliminary hearing, Col. Owen C. Powell will weigh the evidence and determine whether to proceed with a trial, alter the charges against McKinney, or dismiss the case. McKinney has requested permission to retire but has received no official response from the Army.
Media Resources: CNN Online - June 26, 1997, AP Online - June 26, 1997, Reuters - June 27, 1997
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. . . .