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Pro Bono Attorneys Went Above and Beyond to Support a Sailor Who Was the Victim of Sexual Harassment and Stalking

June 22, 2022

A Navy servicemember was a victim of sexual harassment. She sent investigators copies of unsolicited explicit photos that she received from an anonymous source for over a year. After the individual was identified, he confessed, faced disciplinary proceedings, and an order of protection prevented him from contacting the servicemember. However, the individual then brought a defamation lawsuit against the servicemember. The sailor visited a military legal assistance office, which then referred her case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project.

The Project connected the sailor with pro bono attorneys, who had the meritless defamation case dismissed. The attorneys also worked with Navy investigators to ensure that local law enforcement was provided with relevant information related to the ongoing stalking and harassment of the sailor. As part of the attorneys’ representation, they also assisted the sailor in drafting a victim impact statement, which she read during the sentencing phase of the special courts-martial of her harasser. They prepared her for this testimony and accompanied her during the trial. Finally, the attorneys filed FOIA and Privacy Act requests with the Navy to gather records related to the investigation and courts-martial of her harasser. The pro bono attorneys represented and supported the sailor through every portion of her case to ensure it was resolved and she felt safe.

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