From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Settling a highly publicized case in which two military recruiters were accused of rape, the U.S. Marine Corps has agreed to pay two young women $200,000 and change its recruiting practices in Northern California.
The assaults allegedly occurred in 2004, when the two women were 17-year-old high school students.
They said the Marine recruiters, then-Sgts. Joseph Dunzweiler and Brian Fukushima, raped them in a Ukiah (Mendocino County) recruiting office. The women had expressed interest in joining the Marines.
Barry Vogel, a Ukiah attorney representing the two women, said one was told she had to have sex if she wanted to join the Marines. The other girl, said Vogel, was so drunk she vomited on herself.
The settlement signed Thursday in San Francisco by U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Patel is a compromise agreement that does not constitute an admission of fault by the defendants.
“But that’s not what this case is really about,” said Vogel. “This is about Marines caught in a situation that they covered up. It’s about getting their recruitment rules changed to protect young women.”
Following the accusations, both recruiters were court-martialed and demoted, but they were acquitted of most of the gravest charges. They were later discharged from the Marines.
A Marine spokeswoman contacted by The Chronicle referred inquiries to a Marine recruitment media contact in Virginia. The Chronicle’s call was not returned.
The settlement requires Marine recruiters in Northern California to post notices at recruiting stations that provide confidential contact information for women who feel they have been sexually mistreated by recruiters.
The agreement also requires that female recruiters be available for young women, and that female supervisors must be present at any Marine-sanctioned slumber parties that include female recruits or applicants.
The settlement applies only to recruiting offices in Northern California, but Vogel said it sets a precedent for comportment at Marine recruiting offices across the country.
The Marines “must be held to the same standard as all other adults who deal with teens, such as teachers and coaches,” Vogel said. “It’s time for the Marines to show their mettle and implement these new rules nationwide.”
E-mail Glen Martin at email@example.com.