Teenage girls sue U.S. Marine Corps over alleged recruiter rapes

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Teenage girls sue U.S. Marine Corps over alleged recruiter rapes
by Kim Curtis

SAN FRANCISCO – Two teenage women who claimed a pair of former U.S. Marine Corps sergeants raped them in a Ukiah recruiting office sued the military Wednesday in federal court for failing to properly train and supervise recruiters.

The women were in high school and excited about joining the military when Joseph Dunzweiler, 25, and Brian Fukushima, 26, allegedly raped them, according to the suit. Both recruiters were demoted after court-martial proceedings, but acquitted of the most serious charges they faced.

“I have always dreamed of being a Marine,” plaintiff Jane Doe said in a news release. “I thought they were the elite, the ones who stepped in when everyone else failed.”…

     

The 18-year-old women, who were allowed to sue under pseudonyms to protect their identities, live and work in Ukiah, according to their lawyers.

“They would still consider a career in the Marines if they could be safe,” attorney Michael Sorgen said at a news conference. “We’re asking the court to order them to do what is necessary to prevent this from happening again.”

The suit, which names as defendants the recruiters, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps, which is under Navy jurisdiction, seeks unspecified damages and an injunction requiring the military to train and supervise recruiters, among other things.

Both of the recruiters have been discharged from the military, according to Marine spokesman Maj. Joe Kloppel, who said he’s prohibited from revealing the type of discharge for privacy reasons.

Jane Doe said she met Dunzweiler in late 2004, according to court documents. She said he immediately began flirting with her, asking her out and sending her e-mails about how he wanted to “get her alone.”

Doe believed Dunzweiler would prevent her from joining the Marines if she didn’t have sex with him, according to the suit. Doe said Dunzweiler ended up giving her chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease.

The other plaintiff, identified only as Mary Roe, said Fukushima raped her during a “sleep over” at the Ukiah recruiting office, according to court documents. She said she was very drunk, had vomited and could not resist his advances.

The women’s lawsuit is among the latest in a series of scandals involving military recruiters. Last week, 14 Army recruiters in Southern California were suspended amid accusations they falsified documents.

The former Ukiah recruiters were court-martialed last fall at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego.

Dunzweiler was acquitted of charges he coerced Doe into having sex with him. However, he was convicted of five lesser charges, including having sex with another potential recruit, providing alcohol to recruits, lying to Marine investigators and asking others to lie for him. His rank was reduced from staff sergeant to corporal, his pay was docked by $1,300 and he was restricted to base for 30 days.

Sgt. Brian Fukushima was convicted by the military in September of sexual misconduct, adultery and asking a recruit to lie to investigators. He was demoted to corporal, his pay was docked $1,000 and he was restricted to base for 30 days.

A third recruiter, Marine Reserve Cpl. William McFarland admitted guilt and was punished administratively. The terms of his agreement weren’t made public and he isn’t part of Wednesday’s suit.

A third woman who accused one of the recruiters of rape in court-martial proceedings opted not to join the suit, according to lawyer Barry Vogel.

The case is Doe and Roe v. Gen. Michael W. Hagee et al, C061777.

 

To view this article: http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/states/california/northern_california/14049973.htm

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