Rape in the Military – Harmony Allen

Rape in the Military – Harmony Allen

Her rapist was convicted and jailed by a military court. Two years later, he was freed.

By Catherine Valentine, Zachary Cohen and Brianna Keilar, CNN
https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/14/politics/harmony-allen-military-sexual-assault/index.html
https://www.cnn.com/videos/justice/2019/05/14/harmonys-law-close-legal-loophole-frees-convicted-military-rapists-keilar-pkg-crn-vpx.cnn
Updated 4:09 PM ET, Tue May 14, 2019

Washington (CNN) The first thing Harmony Allen remembers after her rape is standing in the shower.

“I didn’t even remember how I got back to base, everything just seemed like a blur. When I got in the shower, I saw the runs of blood just roll off me,” Allen told CNN. “The shower water turned red.”

Almost 17 years later, Allen would come face to face with her rapist in a military courtroom. He would be tried, found guilty of rape and jailed. Then, a 2018 decision by a military appeals court in another case would eventually set her attacker free.

It is a decision she and a bipartisan group of lawmakers are fighting to change today.

Harmony Allen one week after her rape on September 4, 2000, on Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas. She had previously worn makeup to hide her injuries; for this photo, she was asked to wash her face.

Harmony Allen one week after her rape on September 4, 2000, on Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas. She had previously worn makeup to hide her injuries; for this photo, she was asked to wash her face.

 

Allen was 19 years old, just three months into her radiology technician training at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas, when a course instructor raped and beat her on August 25, 2000.

That night, Allen was at a club on base where Air Force instructors and students ate and drank. After other instructors left, Master Sgt. Richard Collins lingered.

“When he came over to start talking to me, that was weird in itself,” Allen said. “Because they’re not allowed to talk with students.”

Master Sgt. Collins appeared intoxicated. His voice was loud, his movements, clumsy. When Collins said that he was going to drive home, Allen, who doesn’t drink, stepped in and offered to call a taxi or a base shuttle.

“In the army, it’s our battle buddy. You always look out for your battle buddy,” Allen said. “In the Air Force, it’s your wingman.” Allen later wrote in court documents that she thought she was being a “good wingman.”

When Collins declined a taxi and shuttle, Allen offered to drive him home.

He accepted.

Moments after Allen helped Collins through his front door and into the foyer, he pinned her against a wall and pressed his forearm into her chest.

When she yelled and resisted, adding that she was engaged to be married, Collins threw her to the floor.

Allen’s head split open.

As she regained consciousness, Allen fought and squirmed beneath him. Collins punched her in the face.

Her eyes fixated on a family photo of Collins with his wife and children.

Harmony Allen three days after her rape on August 28, 2000, at United Regional Health Care System in Wichita Falls, Texas.

“I looked at that picture the whole time he was raping me.”

When the case went to trial more than a decade later, the nurse who initially examined her in August 2000 still recalled the brutal details of the attack.

Read more about this distressing example of rape in the military and the loophole in the law that is freeing convicted rapists in the military in the pdf file below. There are also a couple of links to important supporting articles in the pdf. You can read it here or download to read at your convenience.

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