The recently concluded rape trial of Jamie Leigh Jones is a textbook example of how large corporations escape responsibility from wrongdoing by attacking their victims. Instead of the trial being focused on the character of KBR and the alleged rapist, firefighter Charles Boartz, the trial was focused on the character of the victim, Jamie Leigh Jones.
KBR, a former Haliburton subsidiary, has a despicable track record which includes lawsuits ranging from poisoning its employees with unsafe drinking water, food and hazardous fumes to using shipping containers that were previously used to haul dead bodies for ice that was served to soldiers to storing 1,000 asian men in a warehouse with 12 toilets. However, the jury didn’t hear about these stories during the trial. There is also the story behind the alleged rapist, Charles Boartz, who had several run-ins with the law concerning domestic violence reports. However, the trial did not focus on the character of Charles Boartz.
Instead, the attorneys defending KBR and Boartz focused the entire trial on the victim, Jamie Leigh Jones. This is not surprising. It is taught on the first day of Defending Large Corporations 101. Civil Defense Attorneys make a living by helping large corporations escape responsibility by trying to discredit innocent victims. In this case, Jamie Leigh Jones happened to be their target because she courageously stood up against KBR in an effort to protect other innocent women from being raped at the hands of KBR employees and contractors.
Despite ignorant news media reports, the Texas jury did NOTfind that Jamie Leigh Jones was not raped. They simply didn’t find enough evidence that it happened the way Jamie Leigh Jones reported. This is very convenient for KBR, since they initially controlled most of the evidence of the rape. Also fortunate for KBR is the fact that Jamie Leigh Jones was drugged and cannot remember the details of the actual rape. The jury also had a hard time reconciling all of the evidence, which unsurprisingly contained many inconsistencies, many of which were bought and paid through KBR’s experts. For example, KBR hired several experts to go through all of Jamie Leigh’s past medical and psychological records with a fine tooth comb and then regurgitate certain excerpts to portray Jamie Leigh as someone that was unbalanced before the alleged rape. They also hired a substance use psychiatrist, Thomas Kosten, M.D., to testify that Jamie Leigh Jones had 5 drinks over 3 hours which caused her amnesia for the actual incident. Seriously, 5 drinks over 3 hours rendered her completely amnestic as to the rape by several men which left her with bruising as well as vaginal and anal fissures. Unfortunately, the Texas jury was not intelligent enough to see through this ridiculous defense. It also was wonderful for KBR that they were able to delay the trial for years by attempting to force Jamie Leigh to arbitrate her case instead of present it to a jury, a fight won by Jamie Leigh but after two years of appeals and federal legislation introduced by Senator Al Franken.
Perhaps most damaging was the military doctor that examined Jamie Leigh Jones after the incident. Dr. Jodi Schultz wouldn’t offer an opinion that Jamie Leigh’s physical injuries were consistent with being raped. This is absurd. As a military doctor, Dr. Schultz is likely trained to keep soldiers from dying, not to determine whether a patient has been raped. That being said, to not offer an opinion that bruising and vaginal and anal fissures are consistent with rape is difficult to justify. Considering the importance of Dr. Schultz’s opinion in Jamie Leigh’s life, she may want to educate herself concerning the physical symptoms of non-consensual sex.
Fortunately for Jamie Leigh there appears to be several appealable issues which ideally will allow her another trial. Unfortunately, it will likely take years to obtain another day in court. Jamie Leigh’s bravery and perseverance is beyond reproach and she has been a role model for so many other victims, it would be a shame if she were to give up now.