Lt. Ariana Klay is one of the alleged victims of the repeated rapes. She stated she had been ridiculed by commanding officers after complaining about the rapes, and their attackers suffered no punishment.
The incidents were reported at the Washington, D.C. Marine base. All the women filing charges claim to having been harassed, abused and made fun of. In some of the cases, their fellow officers were calling them “walking mattresses.” Their attackers were never prosecuted, or even suspended, until now, the Today Show
Lt. Klay had served in the Marine Corps in Iraq, after graduating with honors from the U.S. Naval Academy. In her lawsuit, she claims that she was first presented with verbal advances.
After her refusal to “cooperate,” the harassment and abuse started. It “culminated in Lt Klay being gang-raped at her private residence one block away from the base in August 2010,” her statement reads.
Among the assaulters was her commanding officer. She told the press the attack was meant as retaliation, and her life was threatened in the process.
“An officer, senior to me, and his civilian friend came to my house on a Saturday morning, uninvited and both of them threatened me with death and raped me.” [...] And his reason for doing that, he said, was that I had humiliated him in front of his junior Marines and he wanted to humiliate me back, ” Lt. Klay said.
After coming forward and accusing their fellow officers of rape, all the women filing the lawsuit reported they were accused of misconduct. Their superiors blamed them for the incidents, naming their alleged excessive drinking and fraternization as grounds for dismissal of all charges.
“They said that I welcomed the sexual harassment by wearing make up and running shorts,” Lt. Klay recalls.
Even though Air Force Maj. General Mary Kay Hertog of the Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office claims they “own this problem” and “want to absolutely do the right thing,” Lt. Klay finds herself the victim of harassment one again, this time on Facebook.
Fellow Marines posted a dummy complaint on her Facebook profile, poking fun at her “Reasons for filing this report.” They name “I am a little bitch,” “I am a cry baby,” and “I want my mommy” among those reasons.