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Congressman fighting for justice for victims of military rape

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Harmony Allen says she was raped by her sergeant in school on an air force base in 2000. These photos were taken just after the violent attack (CREDIT: ALLEN)

On Monday, Congressman Brian Mast filed an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court in support of victims of rape in the military and he's doing it all in the name of one local survivor: Harmony Allen.

Allen says she was raped by her sergeant 20 years ago on an Air Force base in Texas. She was studying radiology and he was her instructor. She says the attack was extremely violent and he threatened her the entire time.

"He said one, no would never believe me because he was a sergeant and I was an airman and two, he would fail me out of school because he was my instructor and three that he would kill me... and of course, after being beaten as severely as I was, there was no doubt in my mind that he would kill me," Allen said.

Allen came forward about the rape after it happened, but didn't name her attacker because she feared for her safety. Still, he was convicted in 2017 and sentenced to jail time. But just two years later, he was released on what some are calling a "technicality."

Allen's attacker was freed after a top military appeals court decided that rapists found guilty in the military could appeal their convictions as long as they committed the crime before 2006 and were not charged within five years of the attack.

Allen's attacker fell under that category.

She says she felt like she was "being raped all over again" when he was freed.

"I thought this was a different military and they stuck up for victims, but it was just hard. And it's still hard now," Allen said.

But now, she is no longer fighting alone.

Congressman Brian Mast is taking the issue all the way to the Supreme Court in Allen's name, urging them to acknowledge that there is no statute of limitations for military rape and send Allen's attacker back to prison.

He says this is so important because in the military, survivors don't always feel comfortable coming forward or naming their rapists at the time of the attack.

"People are worried about the future of their military career if they come forward with this," Mast said. "[They worry] is it going to be taken seriously? What are people going to say behind their backs? That’s where it’s so different trying to deal with this in military units."

And Allen says regardless of the Supreme Court's decision, she feels empowered by his support.

"Fighting this fight right now- I feel like it gives me some power back," she said. "I have to say to myself that I tried everything. I literally did everything I possibly could to get justice."

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case in April.


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