Veteran details 'brutal rape that stole her virginity, leaving her black, blue & silenced' amid Army's #MeToo movement
A VETERAN has bravely spoken of how she was robbed of her virginity when she was brutally raped and left black and blue – as she slams the Army for silencing her.
Sarah Guyer, who is supporting the military's own #MeToo movement following a string of deaths at Fort Hood in Texas, including that of Vanessa Guillén, hoped joining the Army aged 17 would set her up "for life."
In a heartbreaking interview, the ex-soldier says her dream of the perfect career was shattered within a year when she was blackmailed into meeting a specialist in a nearby bathroom following a pelvic X-ray, where she was savagely raped.
“I go back to friends that I've known and my own case. The military is very good at closing ranks and covering things up," she told The Sun.
“The military does not like outside investigations going on. They like to keep it internal, and they let me down.
"I wasn't sure if I'd make it out of the bathroom alive, he could have killed me.
"When the #MeToo movement happened, I didn't want to come out and tell my story, but I'm not afraid anymore."
Sarah was on active duty in Fort Leonard Wood, in the Missouri Ozarks in mid August 2005, aged 18, when she went for an examination after experiencing problems with her hip during training.
The specialist spotted she had an intimate piercing during a pelvic X-ray, and allegedly threatened to write her up after she had forgotten to remove it.
She claims he then chillingly told her: "I've always wanted to f*** somebody with that kind of piercing."
Sarah, now 33, says she was terrified of being punished, and alleges he forced her to meet him in a nearby bathroom for sex in exchange for his silence, which she initially agreed to out of fear.
But within seconds of entering the bathroom, she says she changed her mind, only to realize it was too late, and the man attacked her and smashed her head into a wall.
"He was a few inches taller than me at six foot, and when he came into the bathroom I told him repeatedly, 'I cannot do this'," she said. "I remember trying not to cry, but tears were coming out.
"I said, 'I will take my chances with my command' I knew piercings were not allowed.
"I backed up towards the toilet, so my back was against a cement block wall, his back was against the door.
"He had a sadistic smile on his face, and as I walked towards the door I knew it was too late. And that's when I remember my head being slammed into the wall next to the door.
"Between the physical blows to my body, the blows to my head, my belt being around my neck, and the combination of the surrounding sounds, nobody could hear me shout for help."
Sarah claims the violent attack lasted only about 30 seconds from her alleged rapist entering the bathroom, but admits it felt "like a lifetime".
She was left battered and bruised on the floor, and after collecting herself, decided for a while not to tell anybody, instead claiming her injuries were from an intense training session.
Asked if her rapist used protection, Sarah simply replied: "No."
She went on: "He did a lot of damage to my ribs, my stomach, my back, there was bruising on my chest.
"I did have a bruise on the left side of my head where he slammed it into the wall, but most of the injuries he made sure could be covered by clothing."
She only told a friend after being quizzed about her bruises, who encouraged her to report the terrifying incident, after which she spoke with a chaplain.
Despite having not showered since the alleged assault, she says officials did not suggest she be seen by a medical professional, or be examined with the use of a rape kit.
"The chaplain said that nobody would believe me. I might ruin his career and that I would get in trouble," she said.
"It went higher up, but the drill sergeant refused to give my name at the time, they felt they were just going to cover it up.
"The chaplain claimed I confessed to having sexual intercourse, and said, 'You willingly walked into that bathroom'."
They allegedly told her if she wanted to take her complaint further, they would tell the Army that during confession she revealed she was a "willing participant."
"Nobody was willing to take me seriously," she said. "So I tried to carry on with my life."
Sarah was later discharged from the Army for suffering an injury to her shoulder whilst doing a firman's lift in a first aid class.
Four years ago, she decided to get in contact with the CID office at Fort Leonard Wood in a quest for justice, and an official visited her home and took a video testimonial.
The case was referred to the Missouri Attorney General's Office and her alleged rapist was tracked down, but due to the pair no longer being in the military, she says they decided not to prosecute.
A spokesperson for Fort Leonard Wood could not comment on Sarah's individual case, but told The Sun: "The Army takes allegations of sexual assault very seriously and will investigate every report of sexual assault.
"We ask the individual to contact any U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command office to initiate an investigation."
A spokesman for the Attorney General's Office also said they could not comment on the individual case at this current time.
Her harrowing story is one of thousands, as troubling statistics show sexual assault in the military is still on the rise, according to an official Pentagon report last year.
Although the majority — about 70 percent — still do not report the life-changing incidents.
This month, missing Fort Hood soldier, Sgt Elder Fernandes, who reported sexual abuse was found hanged – becoming the 12th death this year at 'the Army's most crime-ridden post.'
Special Agent Damon Phelps of the Army Criminal Investigation Command said the investigation was completed “fairly recently” and Fernandes was made aware of the outcome, alleging his claims were "unsubstantiated".
"The subject of the investigation took and passed a polygraph investigation, and we found no witnesses that could corroborate Sgt. Fernandes’ allegations,” Phelps said.
“There was a thorough legal review, and the allegations were unsubstantiated.”
Sarah, who now lives in Valencia, California with her supportive husband and children, said she has regular therapy sessions to deal with her own rape trauma.
"My PTSD from my rape is very bad, and I don't really trust a lot of people," she told The Sun.
"Even to this day, I'm so scared if I see someone who resembles my rapist I avoid them completely.
"If I'm in a grocery store and I can't go down another aisle, I will walk out to my car and leave my groceries.
"It's coronavirus pandemic, but sexual assault and rape in the military is far beyond that.
"And the military can do anything and everything they can to cover things up.
“Even though I'm out of the military, I have friends that are still in the military.
“If a weapon goes missing on post they completely lock it down, nobody is going home until they find it. But a soldier goes AWOL and nothing happens."
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