VIDEO: Today's Headline News from Associated Press
RAPE VICTIM: RETALIATION PREVALENT IN MILITARY
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Stacey Thompson had just been stationed at a Marine Corps base in Japan when she said her sergeant laced her drinks with drugs, raped her in his barracks and then dumped her onto a street outside a nightclub at 4 a.m.
The 19-year-old lance corporal was not afraid to speak up.
She reported it to her superiors but little happened. She said she discovered her perpetrator was allowed to leave the Marine Corps and she found herself, instead, at the center of a separate investigation for drug use stemming from that night. Six months later, she was kicked out with an other-than-honorable discharge - one step below honorable discharge - which means she lost her benefits.
Now, 14 years later, she has decided to speak out again, emboldened by the mounting pressure on the Pentagon to resolve its sexual assault epidemic.
She went public with her story Thursday in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press and spoke Friday at a news conference with Sen. Barbara Boxer ahead of next week's Senate hearing on the problem.
"To see that what happened to me 14 years ago is still continuing to happen now, for me that was a big reason why I felt the need to come forward," she said. "I can finally say I have the strength."
Retaliation is part of a military-wide pattern that has prevented countless cases from being reported and investigated, exacerbating the epidemic, according to victims' advocates. A Pentagon report released earlier this month found 62 percent of sexual assault victims in the military who reported being attacked say they faced some kind of retaliation afterward.
Boxer is pushing for a bipartisan bill that would put the cases in the hands of military trained prosecutors and not the chain of command.
BRAWL BREAKS OUT AT OHIO KINDERGARTEN GRADUATION
CLEVELAND (AP) -- A brawl that started over spilled punch at a kindergarten graduation ceremony Friday resulted in the arrest of eight people, authorities said. Police were called when one participant pulled out a pipe and another a hammer.
Two teenage girls apparently started hitting each other at Michael R. White Elementary School, and their families joined in, Cleveland police Cmdr. Wayne Drummond said. The fight involved adults and minors, he said.
"You had adults fighting adults, juvies fighting juvies, and so forth," he said as parents streamed into the building to pick up their children. "You just had a melee here."
No one was hurt, Drummond said. It wasn't clear whether the hammer and pipe were brought to the school or were grabbed during the fight from a janitor's supplies or elsewhere, police spokeswoman Detective Jennifer Ciaccia said.
No charges were immediately filed, but those arrested were being booked for aggravated rioting, Drummond said. By city practice, charges are filed after prosecutors review a case.
City Councilman Jeff Johnson lives across the street from the school, which is in a blue-collar neighborhood overlooking the leafy University Circle arts and museum district. He said the spilled punch set off the fight, with one person pulling out a pipe and another a hammer, leading school security officers to call police.
Any parent involved in the fight should be banned from the building, Johnson said. "We're not going to have people coming into our schools, being disrespectful, fighting," he said. "So I support them being hauled off."
LINKEDIN OFFERS EXTRA STEP TO GUARD USER ACCOUNTS
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) -- LinkedIn is joining the crowd of Internet services tying account security to mobile phones.
In a change announced Friday, the roughly 225 million users of LinkedIn Corp.'s online professional networking service can now choose to require a code to be sent to their phones whenever an attempt is made to log in to an account from a device for the first time.
The code sent to the phone is needed to complete the login process. The extra step is designed to lessen the chances of computer hackers breaking into user accounts.
Google Inc., Facebook Inc. Microsoft Corp. and Twitter are among other major companies to deploy this two-step verification process.
LinkedIn, based in Mountain View, Calif., had about 6 million user passwords stolen and posted on the Internet last year.
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