Things That Matter.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This may be one of the hardest posts we have ever written. It is not because of the content of subject matter, but in our commentary will sometimes wander off what matters in this story – the sexual assault of a young woman in the Army by another male member in her unit. We are going to say a lot of things about the surrounding players in this but we want people to remember that no matter what we say about the peripheral political players should never outweigh and outshine what a woman went through. She is what matters. Everything else is secondary.

On July 3, a woman by the name of Daedra Lynn [Logan] made a long Facebook post concerning a sexual assault that occurred in 2011 in Colorado. (We would normally use screen shots of the post, but it is so long we transcribed the post to something that fits better here.)

Daedra Lynn [Logan]

July 3 at 11:28 AM •
**ETA Marcie Adkins for Dtstriet 53 Marcie Kinney Adkins is the female candidate that doesn’t believe me.

Friends 01 Florida ts Robert Burns political committee
The Space Coast Rocket is his media company.

•• ETA my female CPT at the time wrote Robert Burns a statement to take with him to court, for the civilian protection order. CPT Lisa Paroz, wrote him a statement for the judge to state that while she could appreciate what I had been through, she did not feel that Robert Burns III posed any threat to me.

It’s amazing the emails we keep.

I joined the Army in 2005. I was a radiology tech. Graduated basic training as Soldier of the Cycle and the high PT award winner. I graduated rad school in the top 10. Was station at Fort Polk Louisiana and served in OIF 07-09. I returned and was sent to Fort Carson Colorado and assigned to Evans Army Community Hospital.

After being assigned for aboutt a month, 1SG Daniel White called me on my personal cell phone from his personal cell phone after duly hours to let me know I needed my flu shot. Weird but ok. Two days later he insisted that as a “leader” I join him at the Hospital ball. I told him I had no intention of attending given my husband was deployed and I didn’t want to go alone. He pressured and I went under that guise that I was a leader and needed to be leading from the front. A day after that, he started texting me asking me on a date, to go to a play with him. He didn’t like to hear no. Two days later he was gone. Just relieved. He closed formation one morning and a new acting 1SG called us to attention the next. Ilound out tater it was because he had dumped a very drugged female Solider on at the end of the sidewalk to the barracks. Thank God CQ caught the license plate number.

I should have seen what was coming…but I didn’t.

In 2011 I was asked to sing the national Anthem for the Evans Army Community Hospital dining in. This was a pretty common thing for me in the military. And for those that don’t know, a dining in is a formal supper for military only. It’s not a ball, there’s no dates allowed. I rode there with a fellow female Soldier. I had the one toasting glass of wine, while there. We went through all 01 the basic tradrtions…toasting to the fallen Soldiers, toasting our leadership, the young Soldiers, the veterans that went before us, the commander in chief and so on. We listened to a safely brief about how we are to take care of one another, look out for each other, because were part of a brother/sisterthood.

And at the end, we did like most Soldiers do…we headed to the bar. As I was leaving with my battle buddy, I was approached by someone I’d only spoken to 1 maybe 2 other times…during training events. “Hey Stonerock, where is everyone going?” So I rattled on all the places that I had heard people say they were headed, he asked if he could come with us. I said, you can meet us there.

I bought the first round. Tradition and all. For those of you keeping track.. -that’s one grass of wine (with food) and one beer over the course of…4 hours…

He bought the second round…and things started getting fuzzy. I don’t remember who bought the fishbowl. But I know I had 1-2 sips..

It goes black from there. I don’t remember leaving the bar…but my battle got me home sale. This is why we don’t go alone. But apparently, the male Soldier with us, was drunk too. And being all about never leaving someone behind.. I apparently offered for him to stay at my house, because there was no way I could let a fellow Soldier drink and drive, remember that safely briefing right? I don’t remember saying that tho, I don’t remember the conversation at all.

But my battle buddy got me home, had to physically carry me in the house with his help. After 2 beers a glass of wine and a few sips of s punch bowl.

She noted that he didn’t seem too intoxicated. But, she also didn’t want to be the one that caused a Soldier to get the death sentence that is a DUI. (In case you didn’t know, a DUI will do more to harm your career than a sexual assault sexual harassment claim) so she put me to bed in my bed and shut the door. And she told him he could sleep upstairs in my guest room. And she slept on the couch… to make sure… I was safe. In the morning, she left to pick up her child and then came back to get him and take him to his

I woke up later after he had been dropped of. And told her I needed to go to the hospital. I was not in my bed. I had no clue how I got into the guest room or my clothes off…

I waited 8 hours to be seen in a civilian hospital, because the hospital on Fort Carson didn’t have a SANE nurse. I waited 8 hours, because there were three girls ahead of me.

A SANE exam is the second most humiliating degrading thing you would ever suffer through…after the first, being raped. The nurse noted tearing, a sign of force. My blood came back completely free of alcohol…and any sign of the drug they think I had been slipped because we had to wait too long.

I was given a series of shots and pills to prevent STDS and pregnancy and it made me violently ill. I went home and laid on the shower floor until the water went cold.
He text me a couple days later to tell me, he knew I liked it “because I was wet.”

In the military you are given the option to file your case privately or openly. Privately so you can have access to the resources you might need such as TESSA or counseling, and in case you decide you want to open the investigation later. I waited 3 days. And I opened my case wide up. For those of you who know me, you know I believe in integrity. I believe in justice. And I did exactly what I was supposed to, I didn’t drink a thing, I didn’t brush my teeth I didn’t change my clothes… I saved every ounce of evidence and it was there..they had it. I was going to fight, and I was going to keep this from happening again. I reported my case to the El Paso county Colorado sheriffs department, because it didn’t happen on base. That was my first step. And he military petitioned to move the case from civilian court to military, to let them handle it “in-house” yes this is a thing the military can do.

Old leadership reached out to me offering encouragement and an ear. But they weren’t my current leadership…and my old leadership had given me a false sense of security, because they weren’t the ones above me now.

The CoC placed a do not contact order on us both. To which I said, why me?? I didn’t do anything…I was told it was so I couldn’t harass him. And it didn’t take long to realize that they weren’t going to stand behind that order where he was implicit, it was in place, to protect him.

Multiple times he came with in inches of me, he would look at me and smirk, smile because he knew he was getting away with it. He would look me dead in the eye, and walk inches away from me. One of those times I was told, I didn’t need to be smoking anyway…and that was the end of it. I was told I was an alcoholic. Because there were witnesses that saw me drink during the dining in, it was classified as an “alcohol related incident” which resulted in mandatory ASAP (Army Substance Abuse Program) training for me…but not him. My female first sergeant, 1SG Griffis-Zanders berated me for having “wine Wednesday’s” with my friends. Which was actually a standing dinner date with a few other female Soldiers where we would cook and drink wine. It was implied that I had slept with him and cried rape after because I was married and didnt want to get in trouble…why else would I let someone stay at my house…

After the third account of him breaking the terms of the do not contact order, I petitioned the civilian courts for a protection order. After him trying to question me for 45 min, my judge shut him down. She was a retired Col. She believe full well that the panic attack I was having on the stand was real. And that something definitely happened. She granted a permanent protection order that I have to this day. And she made it for damn near a mile radius. When he asked how he would go to work, because we still worked in the same hospital…me in radiology…him on the mother baby ward….she told him she didn’t know and she didn’t care. She recommended he be transferred to another unit. My female commander Called me into her office to bully me into having the order changed to a lesser distance so that the other Soldier could go to work. And after I called the court and had it reduced she took that recommendation but applied it to me…

Army Sexual Assault policy states that a victim will not be moved, will not be harassed and will not be treated any differently because they come forward. We had actually had our quarterly refresher training the day before our dining in, ironic huh. I was moved to an outlying clinic on the other side of town..a 35 min drive from home. A clinic that saw maybe 10 patients a day and already had 2 techs working on it.

My depression spiraled. I didn’t look people in the eye. I didn’t volunteer. I didn’t train Soldiers I didn’t go to military functions, I locked myself in my bedroom at the end of every day and drank/cried myself to sleep. There were periods of months where I didn’t even go to work…and no one knew…nor did they care. No one had any accountability for me…but I was gone, he could work and they didn’t have to listen to me “make a fuss” so it was good.
*my apologies, it took 6 months**

It took 9 months for my kit to be processed

And all the evidence came back and said we were going for a court martial.

But first there is an article 32 hearing to determine if there is probable cause. A hand selected individual from within the unit, that is to remain **edit un-bias** …that has absolutely no clue how law works…sits as the acting judge for this hearing. He/she has to determine that there is probable cause, before you can go to court martial.

I should also note that in this type of case, the victim has no other option but to take Army counsel. We don’t get to select our own attorney. The defendant does though. They even get the option to hire a civilian if they can afford it. But in the case they can’t the Army will assign you two beautiful blonde female attorneys to defend your sexual assault. Strategy.

As the victim you also are not allowed to sit and listen to the testimony given…the defendant is though.

While preparing for this hearing my attorneys questioned me just like they believed I would be questioned by the defense. It’s brutal. You have to relive ever detail. They paint you to be a slut, a drug addict and alcoholic. A whore. I tried to quit during prep. I told my attorneys to drop the charges I was done and I couldn’t do it. They threw a file on the desk in front of me…it was of another female Soldier, who was stationed in Korea…who had filed the exact same charges against him, in damn near the exact same scenario…and like me…she had been bullied and blackballed and it was miserable and she gave up. And the actual time on the stand, which lasted for 4 hours was even worse.

I wanted to kill myself. I was drinking a lot. I was completely secluded. The only thing that kept me going was knowing that the system would work. The ideal of justice and integrity would prevail.

The non-judge who worked as a medical supplies officer that presided over my hearing came back with his decision in a few days. He noted that he did believe there was in fact probable cause. That’s where that sentence should have ended. Full stop…but he went ahead and took it upon himself to note that he did not find the evidence to be “beyond a reasonable doubt” and with that, my case was over. My attorneys gave me the choice. We could in fact keep going, because they had the probable cause…but I would have to sit on the stand again, and it would be worse. It would be dragged out for at least another 6-12 months. There would be more prep, more investigating…more questions…I was presented with the deal that he be charged with adultery.

SSG Robert Burns was charged with one sided adultery…and lost one rocker. He lost one rank. And his security clearance was stripped. I was told that it would forever show up in a background check that he had been charged with rape and that he had been found guilty of extenuating charges. To what extent that is true I will never know.

I did everything in my power to get the hell out of that unit. I just wanted to be free, back in Army I believed in. And they let me go. I then fell under a male SSG and a male MSG that both, at different times, sexually harassed me and made inappropriate comments. Both were married.
The SSG left after I threatened to out him. And I reported the MSG to IG after he threatened me with a bad evaluation. He was removed from leadership. But I have no idea what happened to him. He just kind of disappeared.

I was again black balled. I was removed from my position. I was removed from my unit. I spent the last few months of my Army time in seclusion. And I proudly got the fuck out after 8 years because I served and I survived.

After my rape, I went to counseling twice a week for a year, I was diagnosed by my military counselor with acute anxiety disorder, because the army discouraged the use of the PTSD diagnosis. Before I got out I hired myself a civilian psychiatrist, It took her 15 min to diagnose me with severe PTSD. And I started an intense year of counseling that include EMDR.

#iamvanessaguillen #fortcarson #evansarmycommunityhospital

As a female you are statistically more likely to be raped by someone in your unit, than you are to be killed by a foreign enemy. We hold the armory to be more important than the Armorer. A Soldier is investigated more thoroughly for discharging his weapon in a combat zone than he is for raping someone.

I fully support women in the military. I also fully support holding rapists and abusers accountable for their actions, no matter what clothing they wear.

I unblocked my rapist for this…I heard you’re calling yourself a politician now Robert ‘Bobby’ Burns How fitting.

Robert Burns has worked on several local campaigns including that of Kenny Johnson in Palm Bay and that of Marcie Adkins who is running against incumbent Randy Fine for Florida House of Representatives, District 53.

While Adkins has stated that she does not believe Logan, there is a long history of interaction between Burns and Fine. None of which is good.

That being said, clearly Logan is still hurting and believes the Army and it’s justice system failed her.

The military does have a history of dismissing claims of sexual assault made by women. That’s inexcusable. Clearly, according to the charges and investigative reports made by the Army, they thought there was something to Logan’s claims.

The question then becomes proving those claims.

To that end, there are a couple of things that need to be noted. First, it appears that Logan is making the claim that she was drugged. So called “rape drugs” are insidious in that they leave the victim without a complete memory of the incident, and any statement they make comes off as being disjointed and incomplete. While date rape drugs such as flunitrazepam (Rohypnol), gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), and ketamine have been around for awhile, back in 2011, knowledge of the effects of the drugs was not as complete as it is today. For example….

Drugs such as Rohypnol, GHB, GBL, and ketamine are very powerful. They can affect you very quickly, and you might not know that something is wrong. The length of time that the effects last varies. It depends on how much of the drug is in your body and if the drug is mixed with other drugs or alcohol. Alcohol can make the effects of drugs even stronger and can cause serious health problems — even death.

Date rape drugs or too much alcohol can make you:

Have problems talking or slurred speech
Have trouble moving or controlling your muscles
Feel nauseous or vomit
Have a very slow or very fast heartbeat
Have trouble breathing
Pass out

Those are the very symptoms Logan describes both in her Facebook post and in her statements to investigators at the time.

This is a “he said – she said” incident which means that to a large extent, the evidence is part of the trail of guilt or exoneration.

We believe that Logan’s statements, physical condition and physical evidence gives credence to her claims. Whether that would be enough to convince a military panel of “guilt beyond a reasonable doubt” is not up to us to decide. We are, however, persuaded that Logan’s claims and story is “more likely than not” true.

While we believe her story is true, there are some holes in either her understanding of the legal process or what she was told about the legal process.

First off, an Article 31 hearing is controlled by US Code. Specifically, 10 U.S. Code § 832 – Art. 32. Preliminary hearing required before referral to general court-martial.

Logan claims that the hearing officer was not qualified. We find that difficult to believe as the law requires that they are qualified and have an understanding of the law and the UCMJ:

(b) Hearing Officer.—
(1) A preliminary hearing under this section shall be conducted by an impartial hearing officer, who—
(A) whenever practicable, shall be a judge advocate who is certified under section 827(b)(2) of this title (article 27(b)(2)); or
(B) when it is not practicable to appoint a judge advocate because of exceptional circumstances, is not a judge advocate so certified.
(2) In the case of a hearing officer under paragraph (1)(B), a judge advocate who is certified under section 827(b)(2) of this title (article 27(b)(2)) shall be available to provide legal advice to the hearing officer.
(3) Whenever practicable, the hearing officer shall be equal in grade or senior in grade to military counsel who are detailed to represent the accused or the Government at the preliminary hearing.

Logan is also somewhat confused about the lawyers. In a prosecution / hearing such as case, the accused has a lawyer. The accuser does not. That’s true even in the world outside of the military. The defendant has the right to counsel, but the lawyer prosecuting the case represents the people or in the military, the branch of service. The case was not “Logan v. Burns,” but the “US Army v. Burns.”

Logan also says that while the accused could remain in the courtroom, she could not. Once again, that is true for all courts. The accused has a right to confront witnesses (see the Sixth Amendment.) In addition, witnesses are not allowed to be in the gallery of court because judges, juries and panels want to hear unvarnished and untainted testimony. Sitting in a courtroom would mean that testimony could be altered slightly to in support of another witness statement.

Logan also claims that she was never given a copy of the investigation and when she was given it, she says it is “heavily redacted.”

Like most records, redactions are based upon laws, and not done willy nilly. We have seen records of investigations in cases like Logan’s as well as records of military people who have never been accused of anything. There are generally lots of redactions on those forms as well. Whether it be current addresses, former addresses, social security numbers and even in some cases, job descriptions and where those jobs were performed as part of the persons assignments.

That being said, Logan’s confusion or ignorance of procedures and laws have nothing to do with the veracity of her statement and claims. We mention them only in the sense that while her anger at the Army may be justified in some areas, there are points where she is incorrect in her beliefs as far as some legal things are concerned. Seeing some of her beliefs are false may help her get past the anger in those specific areas.

Once again, the truth of her claims is what matters.

Logan says she contacted Marcie Adkins to let her know that Burns was the person she knows sexually assaulted her.

Adkins blew her off and has accused Logan of making libelous and slanderous statements.

(If Logan was wrong about the assault, why did Burns accept the plea deal from the Article 32 hearing?)

Instead of saying “I’ll look into it,” Adkins launched a “blame the victim” campaign. Instead of looking at the records, she has tried to back Burns as her hiring of him could be a reflection of her judgement.

We would argue initially that it is not. If Adkins was unaware of Burns’ past and was only looking at his work history and political advocacy for his clients, that’s understandable. However, now that she is aware of that past, her attacking Lynn is over the top and wrong.

After getting the cold shoulder from Adkins, Logan turned to her opponent, Randy Fine.

Fine called a press conference for “only credential media” this past Tuesday and had Lynn there.

As we have said in the past, public officials cannot exclude the public from press conferences. The people have every right to attend a press conference held by an elected official as the media – especially when that conference is held on public property and deals with items of interest to the public.

In the case of Smith v. City of Cumming, Georgia (2000), the Eleventh Circuit (which covers the State of Florida) held:

The First Amendment protects the right to gather information about what public officials do on public property, and specifically, a right to record matters of public interest. See Blackston v. Alabama, 30 F.3d 117, 120 (11th Cir.1994) (finding that plaintiffs’ interest in filming public meetings is protected by the First Amendment); Fordyce v. City of Seattle, 55 F.3d 436, 439 (9th Cir.1995) (recognizing a “First Amendment right to film matters of public interest”); Iacobucci v. Boulter, No. CIV.A. 94-10531, 1997 WL 258494 (D.Mass, Mar. 26, 1997) (unpublished opinion) (finding that an independent reporter has a protected right under the First Amendment and state law to videotape public meetings); see also United States v. Hastings, 695 F.2d 1278, 1281 (11th Cir.1983) (finding that the press generally has no right to information superior to that of the general public) (citing Nixon v. Warner Communications, Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 609, 98 S.Ct. 1306, 55 L.Ed.2d 570 (1978)); Lambert v. Polk County, 723 F.Supp. 128, 133 (S.D.Iowa 1989) (“[I]t is not just news organizations … who have First Amendment rights to make and display videotapes of events….”); Thompson v. City of Clio, 765 F.Supp. 1066, 1070-71 (M.D.Ala.1991) (finding that city council’s ban on member’s attempt to record proceedings regulated conduct protected by the First Amendment); cf. Williamson v. Mills, 65 F.3d 155 (11th Cir.1995) (reversing district court’s grant of qualified immunity to a law enforcement officer who seized the film of and arrested a participant in a demonstration for photographing undercover officers). Thus, the district court erred in concluding that there was no First Amendment right. (emphasis ours)

We wrote about press conferences after Commissioner Brian Lober had Robert Burns illegally removed from a press conference he had called concerning the pandemic. Sheriff Ivey stood there and watched Burns be escorted from the room.

While we were not trying to defend Burns in that case, we were trying to defend the rights of the people. Being a member of the press doesn’t grant reporters any special privileges.

Initially, the press conference was going along well. After being introduced by Fine, Logan gave her emotional story and stepped away from the mic.

Fine then returned to the microphone. For the first few sentences, Fine struck all the right notes – citing Logan as being brave and having an important story to tell.

We hoped that Fine would leave it at that. Maybe talk about how his office is open to talk to women that have been sexually assaulted – especially those in the military. After all, while Logan’s case happened in Colorado, Brevard County has Patrick Air Force Base within our borders. Sexual assault is an issue on all military installations and if Fine wanted to help those victims, he should have said so.

Instead, at the 18:50 mark of the video, Fine launches and attack on Adkins saying that “some power hungry politicians will do anything to get elected including victim shaming.” While we do not disagree with the sentiment, some power hungry politicians will use victims of sexual assault to attack their opponents instead of helping the victims.

Fine says that if he sounds angry, it is because he is.

But he is not angry at what happened to Logan. He never mentions up front one thing he can and will do to help her and other victims.

He is mad at Adkins and Burns and continues to go after Adkins.

Once finished that, he goes after Burns – initially not so much for the assault but for Burns interactions with Fine’s family and with Brian Lober. Fine then says “the state attorney won’t do anything” to Burns.

Well, first it helps to have a law broken before the State Attorney gets involved.

Fine closes by saying that he will next year propose a law that will require the military to turn over records – presumably un-redacted records.

How Fine plans on getting around Federal laws and regulations is a mystery to us. It just won’t happen.

But it makes good theater.

In closing, we’d like to say that much of the things we discussed – the court proceedings, laws, Adkins, Fine and even Burns to an extent, doesn’t take away from Logan’s story. Nothing we have written here should be taken to mean that Logan and her recovery from this trauma should not be the focus of everyone.

We cannot go back in time and get a do-over on the Article 32 hearing. We’d like to as we know more about the effects of date rape drugs today than we did a decade ago.

We are saddened beyond belief that a woman was attacked and even more saddened by the fact that she is being used by to politicians who are interested more in getting elected than helping people like Logan.

There are times when we feel so disgusted that we wish there was an option for “none of the above” on ballots. We sometimes wish that public flogging and the stocks would return for people who commit crimes such as sexual assault.

Perhaps most of all, we wish we could go back in time to prevent sexual assaults from happening.

We cannot, so while we can work on limiting assaults, we can also try to help and support the victims.

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