. . .“It was 2004,” says Claire Russo, 40, a former combat veteran running for Congress in Virginia. “I was attending the Marine Corps Ball when I was drugged and raped by a superior.”
Ms. Russo, a Democrat, spent the next few years trying to get her day in court, she says. After the Marine Corps decided not to charge her superior and denied her request to transfer to another base, she took her case to the San Diego district attorney’s office. Her attacker pleaded guilty to sodomy before his civilian trial began and was sentenced to three years in prison. After serving about half of his jail time, he received an honorable discharge from the Marines, according to reports.
Now, Ms. Russo is placing her assault and the battle that followed at the center of her campaign to be the Democratic candidate in a southern Virginia congressional race. Her television ad is the first to feature a candidate’s personal recollection of rape, according to political strategists and organizations that track political ads. Set to air on broadcast and cable networks starting this week, the spot is expected to make up a major portion of her advertising, according to her campaign. (Read more from “Democratic Congressional Candidate: ‘I Was Drugged and Raped,’ Heard in Ad” HERE)