January, 2004- I started working for Halliburton at their headquarters in Houston.
July 15, 2005- I signed a contract to work in Iraq for patriotic reasons and for a promotional opportunity. Several days ago, my parents and I were assured that I would be provided with a decent living and working environment. In fact, I was shown a picture of a nice trailer, similar to one I would be housed in. We were told that it “is more likely that I would get in a car accident in the US , than anything happen while stationed in Iraq”. I desired to take the promotional opportunity to become more distinguished in my career and to be able to help support our troops in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
July 21, 2005- I began my route to Iraq . My first stop was London , Gatwick, and then I was off to Dubai UAE.
July 22, 2005- I arrived in Dubai and stayed at the Sharjah Rotana Hotel. When I arrived at the hotel, I was issued room #1303. When I went up to my room I discovered a man asleep in one of the double beds.
I quickly went up to the receptionist desk and insisted they change my hotel room. I was placed in a room by myself after the complaint.
July 22, 2005- I arrived in Dubai and stayed at the Sharjah Rotana Hotel. When I arrived at the hotel, I was issued room #1303. When I went up to my room I discovered a man asleep in one of the double beds. I quickly went up to the receptionist desk and insisted they change my hotel room. I was placed in a room by myself after the complaint.
July 25, 2005- I arrived in Greenzone, Baghdad via an armored hard car. Upon arrival I discovered that I was housed in a predominately all male barracks. I never even saw one female located in the same barracks.
July 26, 2005 US/ July 27 Baghdad- I sent several e-mails to management to ask to be moved into a container because I was experiencing cat calls even when I was walking through the barrack to get to the restroom. I received the response that I would be fine if I “go to the spa.” There was no spa in Greenzone, Baghdad . I started socializing with some Halliburton/ KBR employees, including approximately four or so firefighters. One of these men prepared me a drink and joked that there were no “rooffies” in it, and handed it to me. After having a couple sips, I passed out. I was drugged.
July 28, 2005 US/ July 29 Baghdad- I awoke the next morning in the barracks to find my naked body battered and bruised. I was still groggy from whatever had been put in my drink. I was bleeding from between my legs and my breast implants were severely disfigured. (I found out later that my attackers tore my pectoral muscles due to the brutality of the attack). One of the men who had raped me was brazen enough to be lying in the bottom bunk of my assigned bunk bed. After getting to the clinic and having a rape kit performed, and pictures taken of my bruising, I was locked in a container with no food, no way to call my parents, and was placed under armed guard by Halliburton. I did not have access to soap, toiletries, a tooth brush, or any of my belongings. I was unable to leave, therefore I was imprisoned. After some time, one of the guards allowed me to use his cell phone out of sympathy. I called my father back in Houston, who quickly contacted Congressman Ted Poe, who then initiated a Congressional Inquiry to get me out of Baghdad . At this point I was in a state of shock, severely traumatized, and was scared for my life.
July 29, 2005 US/ July 30 Baghdad- The state department took me to a male psychiatrist to help me stop crying. I was recommended “no caffeine.” Halliburton had a meeting with me and I was told that if I went home, I would not have assurance that my job would be held. I was also informed that there is no medical leave for injured contractors.
After I arrived home I went to therapy a couple times a week with a life saving woman who saw me without pay for several months. I was diagnosed with PTSD….
August 18, 2005- I was seen by a plastic surgeon regarding my chest injury and was told I needed surgery due to my severe asymmetry and deformity of my chest. I was told that it would take “several months to heal.”
August 26, 2005- The agent assigned to my case gave the contact information to another victim so that we could form a support system. I was really appreciative of this kindness.
September 6, 2005- I went to get a second opinion on my chest injury at which I was also told that I needed surgery because of my “severe pain” and “trauma of the breast tissue and pectoral muscle.”
September 15, 2005- I went to seek legal advice. I then became aware that my employee agreement had an arbitration clause in which Halliburton/KBR could shield me from justice in regards to the civil court system.
In the meantime I was trying to get workman’s comp to be able to pay for my surgery. I was forced to deal with the amount of pain I was enduring. I was told that I had to get another opinion from a workman’s compensation doctor to evaluate my injury.
November 9, 2005- I was seen by the workman’s comp surgeon and he wrote a report and informed Halliburton/ KBR that I needed a reconstructive surgery due to the assault/ rape that occurred in Iraq . At this point, I started to receive compensation; however workman’s comp did not pay for me to have the surgery until 7/7/2006.
February, 2007- I spoke with the state department and was told that my case had still not been presented to the AUSA for prosecution
March, 1, 2007- I contacted the state department and asked when my case would be presented to the AUSA- I was told my investigator was on vacation.
March 16,2007- I was told that my case was sent via FedEx to the AUSA in Florida . I was told that the AUSA was out but would review my case the week of 3/26
April, 25, 2005- I called and asked the state department what the status of my case was or who I could call that would know. I let them know that I was quite concerned since I hadn’t heard back from anyone in over a month.
April 26, 2005- The state department told me there s no update. “It is with the AUSA and I will call today but it is my experience that this is the time we want to be patient as their decision is the final one.”
April 30, 2007- I was required to submit to a nine and a half hour psychological evaluation in order to keep my workman’s compensation.
May 3, 2007- I was told by the state department that my rape kit was missing. The state department had previously ensured both of my parents that the rape kit had made it back to Washington before I even arrived back to the US . I had my mom call the state department to refresh their memories.
May 4, 2007- The rape kit was found, however the pictures of the bruises and the doctor’s notes from that day were still (and are currently) missing.
May 7, 2007- I was told to sign a release form so that the state department agent assigned to my case could try and recover the lost pictures and doctor’s notes, by giving the signed medical release form to the hospital that I went to in Baghdad and to the doctor that performed the rape kit.
May 8, 2007- I received a letter of determination from the EEOC stating that their investigation determined in my favor stating that I was “indeed sexually assaulted by one or more of the Respondent employees and physical trauma was apparent. Respondent’s investigation was inadequate and did not effect an adequate remedy”. Due to the reason that the management didn’t investigate my housing situation, the EEOC found a violation against Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
May 9, 2007- I was told by the state department that my case will be presented to the AUSA on 22 May 2007. I was told to get current doctor’s letters regarding my PTSD to show the AUSA.
May 10, 2007- I gave the state department the release for my medical records
May 11, 2007- I faxed the state department several therapist letters regarding my PTSD and the ways the assault has affected my life
May 16, 2007- I wrote every senator in the United States to bring awareness to the fact that after approximately two years, I hadn’t had one day in court or any movement with my criminal case. I became astutly aware of the jurisdictional loopholes in our justice system, including the fact that before going to Iraq , employees actually sign immunity from Iraqi law. I was also informed that contractors cannot be held accountable under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice. Through the next two months, I received a number of letters stating none of them had jurisdiction to look into the matter.
May 17 2007- The state department let me know they were e-mailing the doctor that administered the rape examination again to see if she had found or located anything from my appointment in Baghdad.
May 21, 2007- I sent the state department everything I had in regards to the EEOC investigation, two letters for the AUSA from my dad and mom, and more therapy letters.
May 22, 2007- Lynn Falanga flew to Florida to present my case to the AUSA in Florida . She stated that she had “good news” that she felt that there was an 85 percent chance that they were going to go foreword with prosecution. They felt that my criminal case is strong and the only setback was the logistical side of things. She stated that “this will be the first case out of Iraq that has gone this far along with prosecution.”
May 31, 2007- Lynn Falanga called me to tell me that the AUSA took on my case as an “intake” so that they could investigate my case diligently. In regards to the missing pictures and doctor’s notes that were taken in Baghdad Lynn Falanga and I both called the doctor that performed the rape kit. The doctor stated to both of us that “I have no idea which rape victum you are because so many young contractor girls were raped after drinking with the guys” she also stated that “I performed so many rape kits in the six months that I was stationed there that there would be no way to recall whom yours was.”
May 2007- I achieved getting my Associates of Art degree.
June 2007- I decided to pursue getting my Bachelors in Criminal Justice because of my disgust with how my case has progressed in the criminal justice system. I will graduate in March of 2008.
August 18-2007- I optioned my story to be written for a screenplay. The screenplay is currently in development and is being written by Tom Whitus.
September 21, 2007- The Jamie Leigh Foundation became a legal non- profit organization. As a result of all the trials and tribulations I have had to go through, I decided to turn such a negative event into using my personal experience to help others. I founded a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping United States citizens and legal residents who become victims of sexual harassment or violence while working either at home or abroad for American contractors, corporations, or government entities. I established FAAR (Fighting American Abroad Rights), which is devoted to the prevention of harassment abroad by educating corporations on how to treat employees in respect to their civil rights. I also established WASH (Working Against Sexual Harassment) to provide relief and assistance to those who are victimized by harassment or violence.
September 28, 2007- I was filmed on 20/20 to bring awareness to my foundation to help victims have a place of refuge by going to The Jamie Leigh Foundation. I also made a public statement about the trials and tribulations I have gone through by trying to get a day in criminal court. I told Bryan Ross about our jurisdictional loopholes in America ‘s justice system.
September 29, 2007- I received a phone call from the state department with good news. Going on 20/20 encouraged movement in my case. They arranged for me to go see the AUSA on the 18 th of October (1 day before 20/20 was supposed to air)
October 7, 2007- Leddy Suman signed an affidavit in regards to the sexual hostile working environment in Iraq .
October 10, 2007- I received my flight itinerary to go in front of the AUSA to try and encourage them to move my case foreword.
October 11, 2007- I was told by the state department that the reason why there hasn’t been movement in my case is because when I went over to Iraq, there was no jurisdictional codes, policies, or procedures drawn up to law government contractors. The state department let me know that the army should have conducted the investigation, however they would pick up the slack that the army left behind. I was told there are still jurisdictional issues at hand. I have never heard of the army being involved in any type of criminal investigation until today, nor had I ever spoken with any army investigators….
October 12, 2007- I received the contact information from the state department of the Doctor whom I saw in Iraq . I am planning on trying to still find the doctor’s notes/ photos of the bruising I am creating care packages for victimized contractors that include a pamphlet to explain how to preserve evidence. For example, it will inform rape victims not to shower until a rape kit can be administered. It will also include a camera (for the victim to take pictures of bruising, injuries, etc), the phone number to “The Jamie Leigh Foundation” so that I can contact the victim’s family, embassy, doctor, and locate any other items I didn’t have access to when I was assaulted.