U.S. Air Force Academy Sexual Assault Cases Suppressed

Civil Air PatrolCome for the commission, stay for the sex parties

By Kiley Terrazzo | AuxBeacon News Contributor

[Editors’ Note: We received this comment on our story Trash-Talk Indoctrination in Civil Air Patrol. The author, writing under a pseudonym, made some eye-opening connections and AuxBeacon editors have voted unanimously to bump it to a full-fledged post. Thank you for your contribution. We are sorry that you and Ms. Teresa Beasley have suffered through this experience.]

Your AuxBeacon weblog proves that Civil Air Patrol (CAP) and the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) have a shared culture of abusive attitudes, cover-up of abuse and harsh reprisals for those dutifully reporting. More importantly, your efforts potentially source these attitudes and abuses in the Air Force to certain youth organizations of individuals who circulate ignorant and callous propaganda.

I personally know a U.S. Air Force Academy cadet who wisely filed a complaint with the Pentagon IG because she didn’t trust the weasels at USAFA. This story has been made public, so I can now share it with your readers. Academy employees Teresa Beasley and her colleague gave statements on the cadet’s behalf to the Academy’s Inspector General (IG). Both were very worried that their comments would not be kept confidential as required by “protected communications.”

Sure enough, just like what we read here with Civil Air Patrol, their statements were turned over to their chain of command. Teresa Beasley was then threatened with an investigation and they pressured her with the harassment of “increased scrutiny.” We see that identical problem with Civil Air Patrol pressuring, isolating and discrediting their whistle-blowing members and any commanders who support them.

“I have been reprised against for doing the right thing,” wrote Teresa Beasley in a July 2015 “memorandum for record” regarding the leak of her statement, which she says was a “protected communication.” She’s since sent the memo to the Pentagon IG.

Both CAP and USAFA officials have slithered around regulation changes while investigations are delayed or to confuse tracking for Congress. In the summer of 2015, Teresa Beasley discovered that Air Force officials had removed some sexual assault reports from the Defense Sexual Assault Incident Database (DSAID) for the 2014-15 school year. DSAID data is used by Congress in preparing reports about assaults at the service academies. In mid-May, two weeks before the end of that academic year, rules were changed to require cadets sign a Form 2910 that outlines the allegations and states whether a cadet is willing or not to have the case investigated.

This new rule was used so that USAFA didn’t have to include dozens of cases for that year. Teresa Beasley flagged the problem in a written statement to the Defense Department’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Resource Office (SAPRO) in mid-2015, which she says spawned more efforts to punish her. In late 2016, Beasley filed a formal complaint with the Pentagon IG Office, saying the Academy retaliated against her after she noted the under-reporting problem.

Articles on your site and in the newspapers expose that Civil Air Patrol officers did the very same thing, deleting records from the Electronic Case Information Management (ECIM) and from the Safety Management System (SMS).

Teresa Beasley began serving at the Air Force Academy in 2007 and was escorted out this June 30th. She was told her personal belongings would be mailed to her. The CAP people and Air Force people doing this to us without apology or restitution are reprehensible and we are advising Senators John McCain, Mazie Hirono, Joni Ernst, Kirsten Gillibrand, Claire McCaskill and Elizabeth Warren on Civil Air Patrol as a potential source of these problem attitudes and tactics.

This story, originally contributed as a comment, was validated from the July 19th 2017 issue of the Colorado Springs Independent.

Related Stories:
Accountable to No One
Air Force Academy Boss Hinders Investigation
Air Force Academy Cadet Convicted of Rape
Air Force Academy Cadet Tied to 2015 Rape in Boulder
Air Force Academy Distorted View of Sexual Assault
Air Force Academy Ignores Rapes
Air Force Academy Leaders Outraged Over Sex-Related Crimes
Air Force Academy’s Sexual Assault Prevention Office under Investigation
Mother of CAP Cadet Concerned about Sexual Assault
Sexual Assault Rises at U.S. Service Academies
USAF Academy Honor & Deception

3 Comments on "U.S. Air Force Academy Sexual Assault Cases Suppressed"

  1. Avatar CAPCommander | August 1, 2017 at 15:08 | Reply

    James Vessella was the Civil Air Patrol Mercer County Composite Squadron 122 commander until his suspension when he “got weird” with a 15 year old female cadet.

    Things got weird when he started talking about her boyfriend, a subject she had not brought up with him, she said. Vessella told the girl her boyfriend was cheating on her and she should dump him, she said. Vessella also told her that the boy had given her an infection.

    “He (Vessella) got weird, saying he was going to give me some medicine for it,” and that he was going to show her a “slutty” movie, which she said she took to mean “something about porn.”

    “He said it was going to open my eyes,” she said.

    Vessella said he had pills for her to treat the infection, but she had to come to his home to take them, she said. He also said he had a wash she was to use on her vagina, and that he would need to examine her.

    She was asked by Assistant Mercer County District Attorney Daniel Davis what she believed the examination would entail.

    “He was going to look at my stuff,” she said. “My vagina.”

  2. Alexis Jones-Hardy, a Georgia State University junior, told Channel 2 Action News Atlanta that she quit the academy in 2012 after an attack on her and on other students. She said women who reported the attacks were treated harshly by classmates and that the academy had a culture that tolerated rape.

    “I kept saying, ‘Stop, stop, I’m not having sex with you,’” Three of the women on her track team were also assaulted, she claimed.

    “I don’t think that the academy took it seriously, I don’t think they wanted to admit that sexual assault is a real problem at the academy,” Jones-Hardy told the news station.


  3. When “Kristen” was sexually assaulted during her junior year at the Air Force Academy outside Colorado Springs, Colorado, she waited five months to disclose it to the Academy’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) as a restricted report in order to avoid a criminal investigation and keep her identity confidential. “I did this because I’ve seen how victims of sexual assault are treated at the Academy,” she told the Colorado Springs Independent. She wanted to avoid being ostracized.

    Shortly after the incident, she began counseling, but didn’t make the assault known at that time. She left her counseling session with a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis that, she says, would be used to kick her out of the Academy a week before graduation. When appealing the decision, she learned that she’d been diagnosed with three other disorders, too.

    Kristen is one of several former or current Air Force cadets who claim that reporting their sexual assaults led to mental diagnoses used as grounds for their expulsion, according to an investigation conducted by the Independent.

    The report comes less than a month after the Academy placed all personnel in its Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office on paid leave due to an investigation of the office that the school won’t discuss. Teresa Beasley, a sexual assault response coordinator for 30 years who had been with the Academy since 2007, was one of those placed on leave. According to her, things started deteriorating when she and her colleagues began speaking up about “punitive tactics” the Academy used against alleged sexual assault accusers.

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