A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by 28 current and former military service members who say they were raped and abused by their comrades. The suit, filed in February, named former Defense Secretaries Robert Gates and Donald H. Rumsfeld as Defendants. The Plaintiffs said they wanted to force the Pentagon to change how it handles such cases. They say there is an atmosphere in the military conducive to rape and assaults.
U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady said in an order released last month that the Plaintiffs, current and former troops, have no right to sue under the law they cited. Notwithstanding the “egregious allegations” raised in the lawsuit, Judge O’Grady wrote that the U.S. Supreme Court has counseled against judicial intervention in the military disciplinary structure. One of the Plaintiffs, a Navy Petty Officer 1st Class, alleged that she was raped by a Virginia Beach-based Navy SEAL and that her senior enlisted leader failed to take her accusations seriously.
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