Lawyer: As many as 20 women claim sex assault at KBR

By Daniel Tencer
Friday, June 4, 2010 14:44 EDT
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The lawyer for a woman claiming she was raped by a KBR worker says that as many as 20 of the company’s female employees allege they were sexually assaulted while working for the company.

Attorney Todd Kelly told ABC News that he has received calls from as many as 20 women claiming they were the victims of sex assaults while working for the company.

Kelly represents Anna Mayo, a woman who filed a lawsuit against KBR this week claiming the company’s negligence allowed her to be raped by an intruder in her quarters in Iraq last year.

“From the stories that I am hearing from the women that are coming back and stories that I have heard from men that have reported these incidents, there does not appear to be any change in how KBR treats these victims or disciplines their employees,” Kelly told ABC.

In a lawsuit (PDF) filed Wednesday in a federal court in Houston, the 27-year-old Mayo was woken on the night of Nov. 27, 2009, in her quarters at Joint Base Balad in Iraq by a man claiming to be a KBR maintenance worker doing an inspection on her bathroom. When she checked with a supervisor, she was told no one was authorized to enter her room.

Three days later, the individual returned, entered her room and proceeded to beat and rape her. The lawsuit states:

The door remained open as the Rapist attacked Anna, grabbing and ripping at her face. Anna tried to make it out of the open door, but the Rapist slammed it shut before she could escape. Anna fought with her attacker, which only caused him to fight harder. She tried to bite his hands through his dirty work gloves, which only caused him to bite her in return. She felt as though he was trying to rip her eyeballs out of their sockets and twist her lips off of her face. Eventually, the Rapist placed a rope around Anna’s neck and tightened it until she lost consciousness. She thought she was dying. When Anna awoke, she realized that she was face down in her bed being raped by the man from behind….

Mayo’s lawsuit claims KBR was negligent in the incident because the company failed to take precautions to ensure no one was able to enter her quarters without authorization, despite having been notified of the earlier incident in which an intruder entered her quarters.

KBR denies that the alleged rapist was a company employee, ABC reports.

The lawsuit adds to a string of bad publicity for KBR, which until 2007 was a subsidiary of military contractor Halliburton. In 2007, KBR employee Jamie Leigh Jones alleged that she had been gang-raped by KBR employees, and then locked in a shipping container by KBR staff, denying her the ability to seek medical treatment.

Jones’ lawsuit against KBR is ongoing. Another lawsuit, filed by Tracy Barker, was settled for $3 million last year.

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