Jamie Leigh Jones

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Jamie Leigh Jones (born 1985)[1] was an employee of KBR, an American engineering, construction and private military contracting company. She is notable for accusing then fellow KBR employees of drugging and gang-raping her on July 28, 2005, at Camp Hope, Baghdad, Iraq.[2][3] A federal grand jury investigated her claims but issued no indictments.[4][5]

Jones filed a civil suit against KBR and one of its former employees.[6] The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants, finding that the sex between Jones and the employee was consensual,[5][7] and therefore no rape had occurred,[8][9][10] and that KBR did not defraud her.[6][7][8]

Jones is the founder of the Jamie Leigh Foundation, an advocacy agency for victims of sexual assault.[11]

Jones's allegations[edit]

Jones began working for KBR as an administrative assistant when she was 19 and started working in Iraq on July 24, 2005.[12]

According to Jones, on July 28, 2005, one of her fellow KBR employees offered her a drink containing a date rape drug, although a subsequent blood test did not detect any date rape drugs.[13] Jones says that while she was unconscious, several men engaged in an unprotected anal and vaginal gang-rape on her.[13] She says that "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."[13] The doctor who examined Jones gave the rape kit used to gather evidence from Jones to KBR/Halliburton security forces, and three hours later they turned the kit over to the U.S. government.[14] According to Jones, in early 2007 a spokesperson at the State Department told her that photographs and doctor's notes were missing from the kit.[15]

Jones says that KBR officials locked her in a trailer after she informed them of the rape and would not permit her to call her family.[6] After approximately one day, says Jones, a sympathetic guard gave her a cell phone and she called her father, Tom, who in turn contacted U.S. 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.[3] A 2006 EEOC investigation found that Jones was not locked in a trailer by KBR but placed in a "secure location" before being returned to Texas.[13]

Congressional testimony[edit]

On December 19, 2007, Jones testified before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Robert Scott (D-VA) 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."[16][17] In a 2007 interview, Ted Poe, a former Texas judge, stated that the United States has jurisdiction over U.S. contractors when they are accused of committing a crime against a U.S. national in a federal enclave.[3]

Jones testified again before the Judiciary Committee on October 7, 2009, concerning Senator Al Franken's amendment to the FY 2010 Defense Appropriation Bill, to restrict contracts with companies that use mandatory arbitration in their employment contracts.[18] This measure was passed by the Senate, prompted by her case.[14][19]

Civil lawsuit[edit]

On May 16, 2007, Jones filed a civil lawsuit against the United States of America, KBR and former parent corporation Halliburton, and one of its former employees (one of the firefighters who she alleged raped her).[2] KBR asked the court to compel arbitration based on her employment contract. On September 15, 2009, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, ruled that Jones's lawsuit could proceed in court.[20]

The trial began in the Southern District of Texas on June 14, 2011.[21] Jones's attorney argued that KBR had known about widespread sexual harassment but had ignored it because the remedy was too expensive. The defense argued that Jones fabricated her story of being drugged and raped because she was embarrassed about the consensual sex and wanted to get out of her year-long contract with KBR three days after she arrived.[7][22]

Jones's first attending physician testified that Jones had not suffered damage to her breast implants or chest during the alleged attack. KBR's lawyers also brought out that on two prior occasions Jones had reported being raped and that she had taken medication for anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder.[23]

On July 8, the jury returned a verdict that rejected all of Jones's claims, finding that the sex between Jones and the employee was consensual[5][7] and therefore no rape had occurred,[8][9][10] and that KBR did not defraud her.[6][7][8] Jones said, "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.[24] Bolen, a KBR spokeswoman, said, "The outcome of this jury trial as judged by her peers is the same result that the State Department got in 2005; that the Justice Department found in 2008. We are deeply gratified that the justice system has worked."[25]

KBR later filed a motion to recover more than $2 million in attorney fees and court costs. In the motion KBR states that Jones' hostile work environment and rape claims were fabricated and frivolous.[26] In a subsequent ruling, the court held Jones liable for KBR's court costs of $145,000, but also determined that the case was not frivolous and therefore she was not liable for KBR's attorney fees.[27]

Personal life[edit]

After returning to the United States in 2005, 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.[citation needed] Jones met a member of the U.S. Navy, an aviation mechanic, Joseph Kallan Daigle in 2005, and the two married in September 2006.[12] She obtained an Associate of Arts degree from North Harris College in 2007. Later, Jones was pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice at the American Military University and expected to graduate from the program in March 2008.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Goodwyn, Wade (June 9, 2009). "Rape Case Highlights Arbitration Debate". NPR. Retrieved December 20, 2011. "Jamie Leigh Jones was a 20-year-old Halliburton employee in 2005 when she was sent to work in Iraq." 
  2. ^ a b "Jones,et al. v. Halliburton Company et al.". Justia. Retrieved 2011-07-15. 
  3. ^ a b c "Live with Dan Abrams for Dec. 10 transcript". MSNBC. December 10, 2007. Retrieved July 10, 2011. 
  4. ^ Gilbert, Daniel (June 15, 2011). "KBR Alleged Rape Trial Begins". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2011-07-15. "A federal grand jury in Florida investigated Ms. Jones's claims but handed down no indictments." 
  5. ^ a b c "Texas: Jury Rejects Assertion of Rape Against Military Contractor in Iraq". New York Times. July 8, 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-15. "[Jones] lost her lawsuit against KBR on Friday after a federal jury in Houston concluded that the sex was consensual." 
  6. ^ a b c d "Woman loses Iraq rape case against contractor: Jury rejects claims she was drugged, sexually assaulted while working for KBR". MSNBC.com. Associated Press. 7/8/2011. Retrieved 2011-07-15. "Jurors rejected claims that Jones was raped and also her fraud claim against KBR. They agreed with [the firefighter], who said the sex was consensual."  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. ^ a b c d e Priest, Jessica (July 9, 2011). "Jury rejects woman’s rape claims in KBR suit". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved July 25, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c d Gilbert, Daniel (July 9, 2011). "Jury Favors KBR in Iraq Rape Trial". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2011-07-15. "A day after closing arguments in the four-week trial, the jury of eight men and three women found Ms. Jones wasn't raped, and that KBR had not committed fraud in its employment contract." 
  9. ^ a b Diaz, Kevin (July 8, 2011). "Jury rejects rape claims against KBR employees". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2011-07-15. 
  10. ^ a b Mencimer, Stephanie (July 8, 2011). "Why Jamie Leigh Jones Lost Her KBR Rape Case". Mother Jones. Retrieved 2011-07-15. 
  11. ^ "Alleged rape victim says contract stifling". UPI. February 12, 2008. Retrieved 2011-07-16. 
  12. ^ a b Akre, Jane (December 13, 2007). "Halliburton Employee Finally Gets Attention for Rape Case". InjuryBoard. Retrieved July 16, 2011. 
  13. ^ a b c d Mencimer, Stephanie (July 7, 2011). "Why Jamie Leigh Jones Lost Her KBR Rape Case". Mother Jones. Retrieved July 16, 2011. 
  14. ^ a b McGreal, Chris (October 15, 2009). "Rape case to force US defence firms into the open". The Guardian. Retrieved July 16, 2011. 
  15. ^ Ivanovich, David (December 20, 2007). "KBR hearing centers on handling of rape kit". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Woman testifies she was raped by US contractors in Iraq". Agence France Presse. December 19, 2007. Retrieved July 10, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Hearing on: 'Enforcement of Federal Criminal Law to Protect Americans Working for U.S. Contractors in Iraq'". US House of Representatives. 
  18. ^ "Franken Gets His First Amendment Passed By Roll Call Vote". Huffingtonpost.com. 2008-11-10. Retrieved 2009-10-19. 
  19. ^ Stein, Sam (December 16, 2009). "Franken's Anti-Rape Amendment Survives". The Huffington Post. 
  20. ^ Mencimer, Stephanie (September 16, 2009). "Court Okays Halliburton Rape Trial". Mother Jones. Retrieved July 10, 2011. 
  21. ^ Christian, Carol (June 14, 2011). "Ex-KBR worker presses claim of rape in Iraq". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved June 16, 2011. 
  22. ^ Gilbert, Daniel (July 7, 2011). "Jurors in Jamie Leigh Jones Rape Trial Asked to Think Big". The Wall Street Journal. 
  23. ^ Levy, Pema (July 11, 2011). "How Women Won the KBR Rape Case". The American Prospect. 
  24. ^ "Jury Rejects Former KBR Inc. Employee's Rape Claims". Associated Press. July 8, 2011. Retrieved July 25, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Jury rejects claims against KBR of woman who says she was drugged, raped while working in Iraq". The Washington Post. Associated Press. July 8, 2011. Retrieved July 10, 2011. 
  26. ^ Koppel, Nathan (August 23, 2011). "KBR Requests That Losing Rape Claimant Pay Company's Legal Fees". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  27. ^ Kim, Susanna (Sep 30, 2011). "Jamie Leigh Jones Ordered to Pay $145,000 in Court Costs After Failed Rape Claim". ABC News. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 

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