SAN MATEO, CA – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) today stands in support of 19 veterans who, in a new federal lawsuit, allege they were raped or sexually assaulted while they served in the U.S. Army or U.S. Air Force.

“The service members who have bravely joined this lawsuit are demanding nothing more than the justice they could not gain through the military’s grossly deficient judicial system that is inherently biased against victims. After being raped or sexually assaulted by uniformed colleagues, these survivors reported the crimes committed against them. But instead of their perpetrators being punished, the victims were intimidated, isolated, and retaliated against.

“As the plaintiffs rightly pursue litigation in our civilian court system, I am working in Congress to overhaul the military justice system through legislation like the STOP Act and through rigorous oversight measures. Next week I will go to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX, to ask questions and get answers about why 18 military training instructors were able to rape, assault, or mistreat 42 recruits.

“While at the base, I intend to meet with key Air Force personnel, military trainers, and trainees to understand how these abuses could be permitted for so long and by so many. Most importantly, I will seek solutions,” said Speier.

Congresswoman Speier will join Congressman Joe Wilson, Chair of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, and two other Members of Congress for a day-long CODEL to Lackland Air Force Base on Tuesday, October 2.