Two female Marines being held in the brig on charges of assault are claiming they only committed the crimes because they were previously raped. Activists are currently calling on the Marines to be released and that they need mental health services, not punishment.
The Marine Corps Times reported that Cpl. Thae Ohu “allegedly attacked her then-boyfriend with a knife and threatened to kill him” and later “allegedly violated a protective order.” An opinion piece for the Military Times argued that Ohu previously had been sexually assaulted and had post-traumatic stress disorder, which resulted in the mental breakdown that caused her alleged attack on her boyfriend, who does not appear to be the man who assaulted her.
Ohu was taken to a mental health facility after the alleged attack but was then sent to the brig for her crimes. Groups have started up to defend Ohu and demand she get help rather than punishment for the crimes she committed. The Military Sexual Trauma Movement, a group advocating for Ohu and the other marine in the brig, said the women were being held “for assault charges after experiencing flashbacks due to being raped.”
“This is a complete failure of communications, and irresponsible use of authority,” said another group, Justice for Thae Ohu. “Corporal Thae Ohu is punished when her family, and advocates report said violations. This is a reoccurring, systematic issue that is not resolved in a timely manner, nor does the Chain of Commands involved gives [sic] full transparency for their contributions to resolving said violations in a timely manner.”
The groups claim Ohu is being retaliated against for filing a sexual assault claim against a fellow Marine.
Also in the brig is Pfc. Celeste Largo, who, according to the Marine Corps Times, “has been charged with attempted assault, unauthorized absence, willfully disobeying a superior commissioned officer, failure to obey an order and three counts of assault.” Activists also want her released, saying she needs mental health services.
“Female Marines are the best of the best, but we also get treated like the worst of the worst,” Janelle Marina Mendez, Marine veteran and CEO of the Military Sexual Trauma Movement, said at a press conference, according to the Marine Corps Times. “How can America trust the USMC to protect our citizens when they can’t even prevent workplace violence against female Marines?”
Largo allegedly assaulted someone because she thought she saw the man she says raped her. A GoFundMe account set up for her claims:
Female Marine Celeste Largo was raped; she wrote a letter to her command saying she was battling suicidal ideations and had attempted suicide twice. Her command knew that her assaulter was on base with her yet did nothing about it. She repeatedly informed her command that she was scared to be on base and that her mental health was declining. Nothing was done. She is now in the brig “military prison” on assault charges because of a PTSD attack where she thought she saw her assaulter. The doctors at the brig have not provided for her mental health even after she requested help three times and was put in solitary instead.
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