Vanessa Guillen’s household meets with Trump, urges sexual assault reform


President Donald Trump met with the household of slain soldier Vanessa Guillen on the White Home on Thursday. (July 30)

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WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump met Thursday with the household of Spc. Vanessa Guillen, who disappeared from Fort Hood in April and whose stays have been discovered earlier this month.

“It’s an unbelievable story. It’s a horrible story,” Trump mentioned to the household within the Oval Workplace. “So we’re going to look into it very powerfully. We have already got began, as you realize, and we’ll resolve it. Possibly issues can come out that can assist different folks in a state of affairs like Vanessa. We’ll be in contact with you continually.”

A funeral has not been held as a result of Guillen was dismembered and relations are awaiting her stays, the household’s lawyer, Natalie Khawam, advised Trump. 

“If I will help you out with the funeral, I’ll show you how to out, financially, I’ll show you how to,” Trump mentioned.

Military Spc. Vanessa Guillen’s mom Gloria Guillen, left, cries whereas assembly with President Donald Trump within the Oval Workplace on July 30, 2020, in Washington. (Photograph: Evan Vucci, AP)

Additionally Thursday, the Military named an unbiased panel of 5 specialists to analyze whether or not personnel at Fort Hood and the encircling neighborhood have allowed a local weather of sexual harassment and discrimination to flourish.

The unbiased evaluate can be led by Chris Swecker, a lawyer and former assistant director of the FBI’s Prison Investigative Division.

The Military has been below fireplace for its investigation into the disappearance and loss of life of Guillen, 20. Days after she went lacking, investigators had centered on Spc. Aaron Robinson as the first suspect. It took two months to develop proof to lock him up, and he fled earlier than he could possibly be detained and died by suicide.

Extra: Ten weeks: A timeline of the seek for Vanessa Guillen


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“The Military is dedicated to caring for our troopers, civilians, households, and troopers for all times, and this unbiased evaluate will discover the present command local weather and tradition at Fort Hood,” Military Sec. Ryan McCarthy mentioned in an announcement. 

Guillen’s mom, Gloria Guillen, mentioned she was offended to listen to McCarthy say her daughter was not sexually harassed. She mentioned she had spoken to her daughter concerning the harassment, however Gloria Guillen didn’t element what her daughter mentioned.

Earlier this month, Military officers disclosed that Guillen could have been harassed in an unrelated matter to her disappearance and homicide. That matter is below investigation. 

Protesters help the #IAmVanessaGuillen Invoice — named after Spc. Vanessa Guillen, who was murdered — and march from the U.S. Capitol to the White Home on July 30, 2020. (Photograph: Jasper Colt, USA TODAY)

Earlier than assembly with Trump the household marched with supporters of the #IAmVanessaGuillen invoice, which might permit lively obligation service members to file sexual harassment and assault claims to a third-party company as an alternative of their chain of command.

#IAmVanessaGuillen: She was sexually assaulted at Fort Hood. Due to Guillen, she’s sharing her story

“My sister is gone, she’s in a greater place, however different survivors are right here with their households … her management must be held accountable,” mentioned Guillen’s youthful sister Lupe to marchers forward of the rally.  

Teams from across the nation attended the march, together with members of the NoMàs Motion, a neighborhood group devoted to combating navy sexual assault.

Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, attended the march, writing on Twitter that “We can not cease till Gloria Guillén and the remainder of the Guillén household obtain #JusticiaPorVanessaGuillén. Right now it’s about Vanessa Guillén and her legacy.”

No podemos parar hasta que Gloria Guillén y el resto de la familia Guillén reciban #JusticiaPorVanessaGuillén. Hoy se trata de Vanessa Guillén y su legado.

— Rep. Sylvia Garcia (@RepSylviaGarcia) July 30, 2020

U.S. Reps. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., and Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, are sponsoring the invoice.

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., a member of the Armed Companies Committee, is getting ready laws to reform prosecution of sexual assault instances within the navy. The measure would additionally direct the Authorities Accountability Workplace to look at the  Pentagon’s sexual harassment and assault prevention and response applications and its procedures for responding to lacking troops.

Speier held a listening to Wednesday on points associated to Guillen’s case.

Multiple-third of girls troopers at Fort Hood have reported sexual harassment in a survey final month, Military officers advised Speier’s subcommittee on personnel on Wednesday.

Contributing: Jason Lalljee, USA TODAY; Related Press

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