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Jamie Leigh Jones (born 1984)[1] is a former KBR employee notable for her allegations that she was drugged and gang-raped on July 28, 2005 at Camp Hope, Baghdad, Iraq by her fellow KBR employees.[2][3][4] She filed a lawsuit against the company and the employees in Federal court and she lost every and each allegation on July 8, 2011.

She is the founder of the Jamie Leigh Foundation, an advocacy agency for victims of sexual assault.

Incident

Jones began working for KBR as an administrative assistant in 2004 when she was 19, and started her contract of employment with Overseas Administrative Services, Ltd. in Houston, Texas on July 21, 2005.

According to Jones, on July 28, 2005, three days after her arrival in Baghdad, Iraq, several of her fellow KBR employees offered her a drink containing a date rape drug, of which she took two sips. While she was unconscious, the men then engaged in unprotected anal and vaginal gang-rape upon her. She was able to name one of the alleged assailants based on his conversation with her, but was unable to identify the others due to her unconsciousness. Further, the lawsuit filed by Jones' attorneys cites the following: "When she awoke the next morning still affected by the drug, she found her body naked and severely bruised, with lacerations to her vagina and anus, blood running down her leg, her breast implants ruptured, and her pectoral muscles torn – which would later require reconstructive surgery. Upon walking to the rest room, she passed out again."[5] Jones' account was confirmed by U.S. Army physician Jodi Schultz.[6] Schultz gave the rape kit she used to gather evidence from Jones to KBR/Halliburton security forces, after which the rape kit disappeared. It was recovered two years later, but missing crucial photographs and notes. [7]

Jones was confined by armed guards to a shipping container containing only a bed, under the orders of her employer, KBR. She says she was denied food, water, and medical treatment. After approximately one day, says Jones, a sympathetic guard gave her a cell phone and she called her father, Tom, who in turn contacted Representative Ted Poe (R-TX) who contacted the State Department. Agents were dispatched from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and removed Jones from KBR custody.[8] In May 2007, a State Department diplomat recovered the rape kit from Halliburton and KBR. However, notes and photographs taken by Schultz (of Jones the morning following her rape) were missing, undermining any chances of bringing the case through the criminal courts.[9]

Involvement in civil lawsuit

In the complaint filed by Jones, her husband, and their attorneys, only one assailant is named in the incident.[2] On the morning following the rape, the named alleged assailant admitted to Jones that he had had unprotected sex with her but stated that it was consensual.[10] However, Jones claims that due to unconsciousness, she is unable to identify the other alleged rapists.[11][12]

Subsequent life

After returning to the United States, Jones has worked with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Department of Justice, several attorneys, and State of Texas Workmen's Compensation and the Assistant United States Attorney.[13]

She obtained an Associates of Art degree from North Harris College in 2007. Later, Jones was pursuing a Bachelors of Criminal Justice, American Military University, and expected to graduate from the program in March 2008. No current status on how her studies went are available.

Jones met a member of the U.S. Navy, an aviation mechanic, Joseph Kallan Daigle in 2005, and the two married in September 2006.[14]

Involvement of the United States Department of Justice

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has brought no criminal charges against the alleged assailants. Because of CPA Order 17, which limits the power of the Iraqi government to pursue legal action against foreign contractors working in Iraq, it is possible that her assailants may not face any legal penalty for the alleged crime — at least by the Iraqi government itself.

However, Title 18, Part I, Chapter 1, § 7, of the United States Code, entitled "Special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States defined," the United States has jurisdiction over the following:

"(7) Any place outside the jurisdiction of any nation with respect to an offense by or against a national of the United States."[4][15][16]

Because CPA Order 17 provides limited immunity for U.S. contractors from the Iraqi government, this offense may be outside Iraqi government's jurisdiction. Therefore, Title 18, Part I, Chapter 1, § 7, paragraph 7, of the United States Code, would apply because Jones is a national of the United States.[4]

Further, on December 19, 2007, during Jones' testimony, Congressman Robert Scott (D-VA) stated that the DOJ "can enforce with respect to contractors who commit crimes abroad, but it chooses not to."[17]

Moreover, Poe — a former judge — stated, in a recent interview, that the United States has jurisdiction over U.S. contractors in the following:

Well, I agree with Brian that there is jurisdiction — that the United States government has jurisdiction of this case. As a former judge, I agree with him totally. The federal government needs to pursue it.[4]

Civil lawsuit

On May 16, 2007, Jones filed a civil lawsuit against KBR and former parent corporation Halliburton, and Charles Boartz (a "person of interest" in the case).[2] KBR requested a private arbitration, and states this is required by her employment contract. On September 15, 2009, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled Jamie Leigh Jones' federal lawsuit against KBR and several affiliates can be tried in open court.[18][19] On January 19, 2010, KBR petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the 5th Circuit decision allowing Jones to bring her case in a civil court rather than in arbitration. [20]The civil lawsuit began in the Southern District of Texas on June 14, 2011.[21] Jones lost the case three weeks later, on July 8.[22]

Jones stated she did not believe the trial was fair, since the jury wasn't allowed to hear details of the accused rapist's past, but were allowed to hear hers. They were also not allowed to hear about the physical evidence.

Jones stated:

“I just thought that the physical evidence would help. I guess the fact that my entire life was on display and (his) wasn’t” made a difference.

[23]

Testimony before Congress

On December 19, 2007, Jones testified before Congress about her experience of the incident with Poe.

In response to her testimony, Scott stated that the DOJ "seems to be taking action with respect to enforcement of criminal laws in Iraq only when it is forced to do something by embarrassing media coverage."[24]

Further, the DOJ was subpoenaed to appear before Congress.

Jones testified before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on October 7, 2009, concerning Senator Al Franken's amendment to the FY 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill, to restrict contracts with companies which use mandatory arbitration in their employment contracts.[25] This measure was passed by the Senate, prompted by her case.[7][26]

Facts of the case

The KBR website has a list of what they call facts about the case.

They mention that Jamie Leigh Jones originally claimed she was the only woman in the all male barracks, when in fact, there were 25 women. Since she wasn't there long and there are over a thousand men there, it'd be hard to spot the small number of women though.

They point out that she said she only took a few sips while others claimed she drank several drinks. If she blacked out, she wouldn't remember how much she drank.

They mention that she did not report the crime immediately, but hours later. This is common for rape victims though, they not in their proper state of mind after something dramatic happens.

Jamie Leigh Jones claims the physician who examined her said she had been raped by multiple people. The KBR site states: "The female KBR medic who witnessed the rape examination does not recall the physician making such a statement." The female medic, who is still employed by KBR, when questioned years later stated she did not recall this. No one has apparently thought to contact the doctor himself. Since her injuries indicated she was sexually penetrated in her vagina and anus, she may have been confused about the number of men involved. She has stated she didn't remember what happened, so it is possible it was just the one man who had sex with her, he already admitting that he did.

There are unanswered questions about the rape kit vanishing and taking two years to track down, and what exactly was missing from it. No news sources has yet confirmed or denounced her accusations of that.

Their website claims she made phone calls to various people straight away, and was not denied communications at all. No one has apparently gotten hold of the phone records for this. Another woman had previously come forward before this case to state they had locked her in her room after she complained of sexual assault.

KBR website claims that "KBR employees do not carry weapons". In fact, people who have worked there say that yes, people with machine guns, or more accurately assault rifles, did work there.

KBR claims that the entire bit about her talking to Congressman Poe who then made calls to get her help are false, and that both she and the congressman are lying about that.

The fact remains that there is no question that she drank alcohol, and that she was unconscious and therefore unable to consent to the violent sex that at least one KBR fireman had with her.

References

  1. "Jamie Leigh Foundation". Jamiesfoundation.org. http://www.jamiesfoundation.org/. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Jones, et al. v. Halliburton Company et al. Justia
  3. Ex-Halliburton Worker in Iraq Sues for Rape, Harassment FindLaw
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 'Live with Dan Abrams' for Dec. 10 MSNBC,
  5. Jones, et al. v. Halliburton Company et al. Justia
  6. Jamie leigh Jones Testifies Before House Judiciary Committee YouTube
  7. 7.0 7.1 McGreal, Chris (October 15, 2009). "Rape case to force US defence firms into the open | World news". London: The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/15/defence-contractors-rape-claim-block. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
  8. http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/22221847/
  9. Gang-raped then locked in van, Iraq worker says The Age
  10. Capitol Hill Hearing LexisNexis News
  11. Capitol Hill Hearing LexisNexis News[dead link]
  12. Iraq rape allegation gets congressional hearing CNN
  13. "VIDEO: Jamie Leigh Jones takes her Halliburton gang rape account to the House Judiciary Committee". The Raw Story. http://rawstory.com/news/2007/VIDEO_Jamie_Leigh_Jones_testifies_to_1220.html. Retrieved 2009-10-19.[dead link]
  14. "Halliburton Employee Finally Gets Attention for Rape Case". Injuryboard.com. http://www.injuryboard.com/national-news/halliburton-employee-finally-gets-attention-for-rape-case.aspx?googleid=28772. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
  15. Special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States defined U.S. Code collection of Cornell University Law School
  16. State Dept Rescues American Woman From Halliburton In Iraq YouTube
  17. Woman testifies she was raped by US contractors in Iraq Yahoo! News
  18. Garay, Anabelle (September 15, 2009). "Appeals court sends contractor's case to court". Houston Chronicle. AP. Archived from the original on 2009-09-17. http://www.nsvrc.org/news/news-field/1754. Retrieved 2009-10-11.
  19. "Opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals of the 5th Circuit as of September 15, 2009". http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions%5Cpub%5C08/08-20380-CV0.wpd.pdf.
  20. Mencimer, Stephanie (January 25, 2010). "KBR Calls Jamie Leigh Jones A Liar". Mother Jones. http://motherjones.com/mojo/2010/01/kbr-calls-jamie-leigh-jones-liar. Retrieved 2010-03-18.
  21. Christian, Carol (June 14, 2011). "Ex-KBR worker presses claim of rape in Iraq Read more: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7610959.html#ixzz1PVH1JDvS". Houston Chronicle. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7610959.html. Retrieved June 16, 2011.
  22. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/jury-deliberating-lawsuit-that-alleges-woman-was-drugged-raped-by-kbr-co-workers-in-iraq/2011/07/08/gIQAi7gH3H_story.html
  23. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/jury-deliberating-lawsuit-that-alleges-woman-was-drugged-raped-by-kbr-co-workers-in-iraq/2011/07/08/gIQAi7gH3H_story.html
  24. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-110hhrg39709/html/CHRG-110hhrg39709.htm
  25. "Franken Gets His First Amendment Passed By Roll Call Vote". Huffingtonpost.com. 2008-11-10. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/07/franken-gets-first-amendm_n_312399.html. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
  26. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/16/frankens-anti-rape-amendm_n_394171.html

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