Marine Corps to pay $200,000 to 2 young women
who say recruiters sexually assaulted them
By Associated Press
Friday, June 8, 2007 - Updated: 11:47 AM
FRANCISCO - The Marine Corps agreed Thursday to revamp its
recruiting practices in Northern California and pay $200,000 to
two young women who claimed they were raped during a slumber
party at a Ukiah recruiting office.
The women were in high school, 17 years old, and interested in
joining the military in late 2004 when they claimed the two
recruiters, Sgts. Joseph Dunzweiler and Brian Fukushima, raped
them. Both recruiters were demoted after court-martial
proceedings but were acquitted of the most serious charges.
The unusual settlement, signed Thursday by a federal judge in
San Francisco, requires notices to be posted at recruiting
stations throughout the region advising potential recruits how
to reach a confidential advocate if they feel a recruiter has
behaved inappropriately, and explaining that young women have
the right to work with a female recruiter. The settlement also
requires female supervision at slumber parties with female
An Associated Press
investigation published last year found that
across all military services, one out of 200
frontline recruiters _ the ones who deal
directly with young people _ was disciplined for
sexual misconduct in 2005. In response, the
Defense Department announced last summer it
would closely monitor military recruiters and
their commanders and consider a policy change.
Ukiah attorney Barry Vogel, who represented the
plaintiffs, said Thursday that although the
court settlement applies to Northern California,
"it sets a precedent nationwide."
"The Marine Corps will have the opportunity now
to show their good faith behind this settlement
and make this a nationwide practice. That will
test their mettle," he said.
Marine Corps officials declined to comment.
One of the young women told the AP last year
that they were drinking and playing cards at a
recruiting station slumber party when Fukushima
climbed into her sleeping bag on the floor of
the station and took off her pants. Two other
recruiters were having sex with two of her
friends in the same room, she said. The
Associated Press generally does not name victims
in sexual assault cases.
"Even though I think this is a bunch of hush
money and the Marines failed to acknowledge
their involvement, we encourage all other women
to join us and stand up and fight against this
kind of behavior in the military or anywhere
else," the woman, now a college student, told
the AP in an interview Thursday.
She said that she met Dunzweiler in late 2004,
and that he immediately began flirting with her,
asking her out and sending her e-mails about how
he wanted to "get her alone."
She said she believed Dunzweiler would prevent
her from joining the Marines if she didn’t have
sex with him. The other plaintiff said in court
documents that she was very drunk, had vomited
and could not resist Fukushima’s advances.
Dunzweiler, reached Thursday at a hotel where he
works, was surprised to hear of the settlement
and said he never agreed with the plaintiff’s
version of events.
"No, no, not at all," he said.
Vogel, and his co-counsel Michael Sorgen of San
Francisco, said their clients were adamant that
policy changes accompany the settlement.
"We’re very proud of our clients for the change
they made," Vogel said. "They are the
forerunners of this kind of change so that
hopefully other women will stand up and speak