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Congress Investigates Second Rape Charge Against KBR
ABC News
Justin Rood
December 13, 2007

Congress is asking questions about another ex-employee of government contracting firm KBR who claims she was raped in Iraq.

Letters to the Pentagon and the Justice Department today from Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. underscore congressional concern about a second alleged assault, this time of a woman from Florida who reportedly worked for a KBR subsidiary in Ramadi, Iraq in 2005.

"I am deeply troubled by recent reports that at least two women who worked in Iraq under contractors for the Department of Defense were sexually assaulted by male coworkers," Nelson wrote Defense Secretary Robert Gates Thursday.

In particular, Nelson expressed concern that in the case of Jamie Leigh Jones, the U.S. Army doctor who examined her turned over the rape examination kit, thought to contain useful evidence, to KBR officials. In the letter, Nelson also asked for an investigation to determine how many rape examinations were performed by U.S. military doctors in Iraq, and what was being done to ensure the cases were prosecuted.

In a separate letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Nelson asked why there has been no criminal prosecution in the case of the alleged Florida victim. The woman, reportedly now 41, has alleged she was raped in her living quarters. She has sued KBR and Halliburton in civil court, but the judge ordered the case into private arbitration.

Contacted Thursday, the woman's lawyer said the rules of arbitration prohibit her from discussing the case or making her client available for an interview.

In the woman's complaint, filed earlier this year, she alleges that in December 2005 a drunken KBR co-worker let himself into her living quarters and raped her. The woman worked as a Morale, Welfare and Recreation Coordinator in Ramadi, according to news accounts and Nelson's letter.

In a statement, KBR said it "in no way condones or tolerates any form of sexual harassment." It declined to comment on the Florida case, "as this matter is the subject of ongoing litigation."

Original Text