Friday, January 11, 2008

The Corps failed LCpl Lauterbach...

According to this latest story from CNN regarding the missing and presumed murdered Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach, who reported to Marine officials that another Marine, Cesar Armando Laurean had raped her eight months ago...

Military officials said Laurean was not taken into custody after Lauterbach reported the alleged rape because there was information the two carried on "some sort of friendly relationship" after she filed the complaint against him.

"The information ... leads us to believe that she still had some kind of contact" with him, said Paul Ciccarelli, agent in charge of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service at Camp Lejeune, this week.

It's been a while since I've been in the military but my common sense tells me that regardless of an assumed friendly relationship, they should have been separated and given orders not to be in contact with one another. This would protect both parties during the course of the investigation (after all a person is innocent until proven guilty). I can't believe that they left the two stationed at the same place and allowed to have contact during the investigation.

How could the Marine Corps officials assume the friendship was mutual on both sides? What if one party felt intimidated by the other and had no choice but to be friendly? You just never know and therefore, the Marine Corps had a responsibility to do more here. The assumed friendly relations may have led them to believe the complaint may not have been valid but once the crime was reported, it had to be treated as a criminal investigation regardless of the actions, words or behavior of the individuals involved.

The way I see it as of now, the Marine Corps really screwed this one up by not automatically separating the two Marines involved. They had the ability to do it, they just chose not to. And now they have to live with the consequences.

No comments:

Post a Comment