November 28, 2006 Update: Suzanne to face court martial on Jan.8 more info coming soon.
Army Spc. Suzanne Swift to face special court martial for charges “absent without leave” and “missing movement”. Last week Army officials reported that Lt. Gen. James Dubik, commander of Ft. Lewis, has referred Swift’s case to a special court martial. A special court martial means that an Article 32, the military’s form of a pre-trial, is not required.
Suzanne’s case has garnered national attention since she was arrested at her mother’s home in June 2006. She had gone AWOL just before her military police unit was to redeploy to Iraq in January 2006. In her time stationed at Fort Lewis,Washington and while in Iraq in 2004 and 2005, Swift was sexually harassed and assaulted by superiors.
The Army has reported investigating the allegations about the sexual abuse and stated last Wednesday in a news release , “The command substantiated one allegation she made against a soldier at Fort Lewis and did not substantiate two allegations she made against soldiers in Iraq.”
Swift, who suffers from PTSD, and her mother, Sara Rich have become vocal spokespeople against sexual harassment, assault and coerced sex which is also referred to as “command rape.” They and their supporters are committed to bring the issue to light and to empower more women and men to speak out against crimes that so often go unreported.
In support of the Suzanne Swift, last month members of Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace staged a sit-in at Congressman Peter DeFazio’s D.C. office demanding action on behalf of Suzanne. As a result, a Congressional investigation is in the works. Swift is currently serving with a different unit at Fort Lewis, and could face up to a year confinement in a military prison if found guilty of the charges, a court date has not yet been set for the court martial.