PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Arizona Sen. Martha McSally recently revealed she was raped in the Air Force.

Now another Valley veteran is telling a similar story, saying the military didn't do enough to investigate after she was attacked.

Her dream to wear the uniform since childhood, Breanna Adams enlisted in the Air Force right after high school.

"It took me all over the world. It was amazing,” Adams said of her service.

In 2011, she was deployed in Iraq.

“I was embedded in fighter squadrons as their intel analyst,” she said.

Just one day before she was supposed to leave that operation, everything would change.

That night, one of her interpreters came to her room.

“He's like, ‘Yeah I just wanted to tell you we're going to miss you.’ And everything so happened so fast,” said Adams.

Before she knew it, she says he was trying to force himself on her.

“And he told me, ‘Shh, shh, just be quiet and don’t move,'" Adams said.

Adams was able to fight him off. She filed a report the next day.

“There was no full penetration, he left no evidence on me,” said Adams.

She was sent home to the states and claims she never heard back.

“Nobody called to check in on me. No one. Not once,” Adams said.

A few months later, Adams was working at Luke Air Force Base, where she says she overheard her superiors saying they thought she made the whole thing up.

“I went back to my office, I picked up my stuff, and I started to plan my suicide,” she said.

Thankfully she talked herself out of it.

But to this day her attacker has never been brought in for questioning or charged with any crime.

“He assaulted me. The Air Force raped me. They're the ones who fully violated me,” said Adams. “He didn’t finish the job he intended to do. All of my leadership and my commanders, they finished the job for him."

Adams believes there needs to be a different system put in place so cases can be investigated and go to trial away from the structure and culture of military bases.

“I don't know how long and how many more people like McSally, like me, and all of the males and females in the service have to go through this before somebody goes, 'Maybe the chain is part of the problem,'” Adams said.

He says her story and McSally's story are not unique.

Twenty-five percent of women who get their health care from the VA report they were sexually assaulted while in the service.

Luke AFB said on Tuesday they are looking into Adams' story.

“Luke Air Force Base takes all reports seriously and we are sorry for what Mrs. Adam experienced. Luke, and the Air Force as a whole, are steadfast in our commitment to support victims. We have made significant progress in advancing sexual assault prevention and response capabilities in recent years," Maj. Becky Heyse, a Luke AFB spokeswoman, said in a statement.

Heyse also laid out the protocol for victims of sexual assault in the military with the statement below.

“There are more than 10 helping agencies that provide response and treatment capabilities underlying the Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program today. That Program’s mission is to educate, advocate, and collaborate to respond to and stop sexual assault and its harmful effects on the Air Force. Those helping agencies include: Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI), Special Victims’ Counsel, Medical services, Mental Health Providers, Family Advocacy Program, Commander, First Sergeant, Victim Advocates, and Chaplain.

If a sexual assault does occur, there are 2 types of reports that can be made by the victim: restricted and unrestricted.

RESTRICTED REPORT: A restricted report means that the victim’s chain of command will not know about the assault, no one but the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator and the victim will know about the report unless the victim chooses to get support from a Special Victims Counsel (a military lawyer who specializes in sexual assault), mental health provider, a chaplain and/or a medical provider for care or a sexual assault forensic exam, and those individuals cannot notify anyone else of the assault. Medical evidence gathered from a sexual assault forensic exam will be stored for five years. If restricted report is filed, the victim cannot request an expedited transfer out of their unit. Also, the offender will NOT be investigated and subjected to military justice proceedings. If the victim decide they want the assault to be investigated, they can change the report to unrestricted at any time.

UNRESTRICTED REPORT: An unrestricted report means that the victim’s chain of command will be informed and law enforcement will investigate the assault. These individuals understand they must maintain as much confidentiality as possible, and will only disclose essential information on a need to know basis. If the victim files an unrestricted report, they may also request a protective order or an expedited transfer out of their unit to another unit on base or to a different base entirely. In addition to support from the SARC, they can get support from a victim advocate, Special Victims Counsel, mental health provider, a chaplain and/or a medical provider for care or a sexual assault forensic exam. Unrestricted reports cannot be changed to restricted after the report has been provided to the chain of command and/or law enforcement.”

 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

Recommended for you

(3) comments

bladam10

This is very frustrating, the end of the article reads like Luke AFB reps are looking into this MST. However, they are not. After reaching out multiple times, I finally got a call back from Maj. Becky Heyse only to be told that her job was just to confirm the MST. She said she couldn't confirm the MST because the SARC office only files MST's by the accused person(s) name. She then said that was as far as the "Luke AFB looking into Adams' story" comment goes. Then at the end of the phone call, Maj. Becky Heyse, a Luke AFB Public Affairs officer, didn't realize that she didn't hang up her phone fast enough before reacting out loud regarding the call; so I could hear everything. Maj. Heyse's response when I texted her to please hang up the phone before acting the way she did; and was responded by "I apologize."

This is a prime example of what is wrong with the way the military handles MST and the survivors. Maj. Heyse was rude on the phone from the start, unhelpful, zero empathy regarding the miscommunication, and finished it up by exhibiting unprofessional behavior when she thought I couldn't hear her.

I would love to say that I am surprised, but I'm not. This behavior and ignorance is exactly what the story talks about. I'm most surprised that a Maj in the military who is also a public affairs rep lacks the situational awareness of properly ending a call before degrading the caller.

MyOwnMind

it wasn't a problem until it became popular to make it a problem. Shut up and go back in your hole. If you don't have the guts to stand up to a freak, then you deserve what you get.

bladam10

Read or watch the story before you comment. Also, how about the problem is predators sexually assaulting victims? The problem isn’t victims ability to stand up to or fight off criminals.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.