July 9, 2011 in Nation/World

Woman loses Iraq sex lawsuit

Associated Press
 

HOUSTON – A former KBR Inc. employee who said she was drugged and raped while working in Iraq lost her civil lawsuit against the military contractor Friday after a federal jury concluded that the sex was consensual.

The jury of eight men and three women rejected Jamie Leigh Jones’ claims a day after starting deliberations in a Houston federal courthouse. Jones, 26, said she was raped in 2005 while working for KBR at Camp Hope, Baghdad.

Jones sued KBR, its former parent Halliburton Co. and a former KBR firefighter, Charles Bortz, whom she identified as one of her rapists. The Houston-based companies and Bortz denied her allegations.

The alleged sexual assault was investigated by authorities but no criminal charges were filed.

“I was going up against a monster,” Jones, sobbing loudly, told the Associated Press. “I’m devastated. I believe I did the right thing coming forward.”

KBR said it was deeply satisfied by the verdict.

“Since 2005, KBR has been subjected to a continuing series of lies perpetuated by the plaintiff in front of Congress, in the media, and to any audience wishing to lend an ear to this story,” spokeswoman Sharon Bolen said.

When the jury decided that Jones hadn’t been raped, a number of the questions before them were rendered moot, including accusations against Halliburton.

Jones said the civil trial wasn’t a fair fight. She said she felt she lost because the jury wasn’t allowed to hear details of her attacker’s past but were allowed to hear hers.

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