Army Reserve Command Accused of Not Taking Sexual Assault Allegations Seriously

Leaders of an Army Reserve command that oversees thousands of soldiers are accused of mishandling sexual assault claims.

Amy Braley Franck, a victim advocate with the 416th Theater Engineer Command, claimed that military leaders within the unit did not follow military procedures or federal law in investigating at least two sexual assault claims, according to the Associated Press. Braley Franck joined the unit as an advocate in February 2019 and was suspended on Nov. 20 for potentially violating ethics codes, which Braley Franck denies. . .

In one case, two soldiers reported to Capt. Joseph Runhke that a male specialist assaulted a female private on two occasions in September 2017 and April 2018. Runhke spoke to the woman, and she said both encounters were consensual, according to documents provided by Braley Franck. The investigation should have been handled by an independent investigator, according to Department of Defense policy and federal law.

In another case, Spc. Sara Joachimstaler reported that a sergeant inappropriately touched her leg during a car ride in March 2019 and groped her during a demonstration on tying someone up with a rope in April.

Joachimstaler said her commanders did nothing about her claim and blocked it from being investigated until she went to Braley Franck, who referred it to the Army’s Criminal Investigations Division in June. (Read more from “Army Reserve Command Accused of Not Taking Sexual Assault Allegations Seriously” HERE)

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