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Utah women among 19 suing over military sexual assault

Department of Defense estimates just 6% of those who commit sexual assault in the military do any time in jail.

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"They said they didn’t want to ruin a career based on something like that," Smith said. "You don’t expect that to happen to you when you’re among people whose job is to protect."

Back in the hospital for psychological treatment after the attack, Smith was forced to attend group therapy with her attacker, she said.

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Within months, Smith was honorably discharged and her life since has been a struggle. Suffering from PTSD and depression, Smith has moved often. She has had 38 jobs in 11 years.

Married now to an old flame, Randy Smith, she hopes they’ll have better luck in Texas than they had in Utah. They were evicted from the last motel where they stayed because they didn’t have money to pay.

The lawsuit may finally bring a measure of justice, Smith said.

"I hope that they change that man’s discharge to dishonorable," she said Friday, "and make him pay back every benefit he received."


Reporter Gary Peterson of the Bay Area News Group contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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