US Army investigation finds Vanessa Guillen was sexually harassed
A long-awaited US Army investigation released on Friday revealed that Spc was murdered. Vanessa Guillen was sexually molested by a supervisor, her family claimed, and that the leaders of her Fort Hood, Texas unit had failed to take appropriate action after taking a step forward.
Twenty-one soldiers were reprimanded or disciplined for their handling of the Guillen case, and investigators also found that the harassment incidents were unrelated to Guillen's murder and were not carried out by the alleged fellow soldier who killed her in 2020.
MORE: 14 high-ranking army commanders at Fort Hood have been dismissed or suspended after careful scrutiny
The command investigation, known from Army Regulation 15-6, revealed that Guillen was sexually molested twice by one of her superiors.
"SPC Guillen has been sexually harassed by a supervisor. This supervisor has created an intimidating, hostile environment," the report said. "The department management was informed about the harassment as well as the counterproductive conduct of the superior and did not take any suitable measures."
PHOTO: Traffic flows through the main gate past a welcome sign, Tuesday July 9, 2013, in Fort Hood, Texas. (Tony Gutierrez / AP, FILE)
"While the investigator found evidence of sexual harassment and ill-treatment against SPC Guillen, after reviewing all the evidence and testimony, he found that these incidents were unrelated to her murder," the report said.
Authorities have said Army Spc. Aaron Robinson is believed to have murdered Guillen on April 22, 2020, the day her disappearance sparked a major base search for her. Robinson died of suicide on June 30, 2020 when police viewed him as the prime suspect for her disappearance and murder.
MORE: Army launches full scan of Fort Hood after Vanessa Guillen's death
The investigation does not reveal a potential motive for Guillen's murder and raises more questions as it "found no credible evidence to conclude that Spc. Robinson sexually molested Spc. Guillén or that they had a relationship outside of their work environment, except that he." one had a working relationship with Guillen.
PHOTO: The headquarters of the III. Corps is located at Fort Hood Army Base, Texas on April 3, 2014. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images, FILE)
Investigators found that Robinson had not sexually molested Guillen, but that he had molested another soldier last year.
Guillen's family has alleged that they told them they had been sexually molested by a manager and that they linked the incident to their murder.
MORE: Army officials reveal new details in the Vanessa Guillen case
The allegations resulted in a settlement within the military community, which resulted in current and former members bringing their own experiences as victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment.
"We found a lot of inconsistencies in this report," Natalie Khawam, lawyer for the Guillen family, told ABC News in a statement.
"It's heartbreaking and frustrating for all of us," said Khawam, who raised family concerns that the soldier who molested Guillen was not identified in the report. "So much failure, from the commanders down."
"Unfortunately, nothing happened to the [Criminal Investigation Command] agents who mistreated and botched this investigation. Unfortunately, nothing will change for our soldiers and their families," she said. Khawam and the Guillen family have spoken out in favor of the I Am Vanessa Guillen Act, which would change the way in which military sexual harassment is handled.
"Without the I Am Vanessa Guillen Act, there will be no real accountability and our soldiers and their families will continue to suffer," said Khawam.
The investigation also provided new details on how Robinson escaped the base when investigators approached him as the prime suspect for Guillen's disappearance.
"Poor communication" with soldiers guarding him in a conference room helped him escape the room, the report said.
Army criminal investigators were charged with failing to communicate that Robinson was "a soldier of increased interest and not just another soldier for a follow-up interview".
In the summer of 2019, one of Guillen's supervisors "made an inappropriate sexual comment in Spanish, which SPC Guillen translated as a request for them to participate in a" threesome, "the investigation found.
Following these comments, another manager "noticed a marked change in her behavior that prompted the manager to ask if she was okay," the report said. "At that time, SPC Guillen reported the incident to her superior and another soldier."
"Between September 16, 2019 and October 9, 2019, two soldiers reported this incident to their unit command, which did not initiate an investigation," the report said.
MORE: Missing Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen's family speaks up and doesn't ask anyone to sign up until "we get justice".
Final Exsum Fhtx 15-6 No Pii (April 28, 0930) (002) by ABC News Politics on Scribd
The investigation found that the supervisor who made the comments on Guillen was "unprofessional" and then engaged in "counterproductive behaviors", such as those targeting her in front of her peers, in order to "make her an example".
During a later field training exercise, Guillen felt "uncomfortable" after the supervisor "encountered Guillen while she was engaged in personal hygiene on a wooden line," the report said.
Last December, the Army fired or suspended 14 officers and soldiers at Fort Hood, including two generals, after an independent panel investigated the climate of command at the base.
Six of these soldiers, released in December, were among the 21 soldiers who received administrative fines as a result of the investigation published on Friday.
Army officials said Friday they would not be allowed to reveal the identity or rank of the superior who allegedly sexually molested Guillen.
Research by the US Army has revealed that Vanessa Guillen has been sexually assaulted. It originally appeared on abcnews.go.com
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