Advocate: 2 female Marines incarcerated, denied mental health care after alleging sex abuse
Two female Marines who came forward with allegations of being sexually assaulted have both been incarcerated on separate assault charges.
A Hudson Valley military sexual trauma advocate alleges that they were incarcerated because they came forward.
"You have women in solitary confinement who are innocent until proven guilty," says Janelle Mendez, founder of MST.
Advocates say 27-year-old Corporal Thae Ohu reported being raped in 2015 by her supervisor. They say he was never charged and instead promoted to a legal position in the Pentagon while Ohu began to suffer from PTSD flashbacks.
In April, Ohu was arrested by civilian officers in Virginia for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend and released on bond, but the military pressed charges of attempted murder – even though her family's attorney says the victim wasn't hurt. The attorney is asking for the charges to be dropped.
"The Marine Corps had other plans. They said, 'let's see what we can do to break and further silence her and sweep these allegations under the rug.' She accused her supervisor of rape, who's in the legal community," said Lindsey Knapp, attorney for Ohu's sister.
Pfc. Celeste Largo's mother says her 21-year-old daughter's rapist was also never charged and she was forced to work alongside her attacker at a Marine Base in South Carolina until September – when she allegedly assaulted three Marines during a PTSD flashback.
She had asked an expedited base transfer, but no one responded to her request.
"They immediately locked her up and denied her mental health care," said Largo's mother LaRae Mescale.
More than half of all female services members who report sex crimes, also report a negative outcome, according to a 2016 Oxford study.
Her family says Largo faces 15 years in military prison and advocates say Ohu faces life behind bars.
News 12 reached out to the Department of Defense but has not heard back.
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