CNN legal analyst: Alleged Halliburton rapists may go free
John Byrne and David Edwards
Published: Wednesday December 12, 2007

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Because of an employment contract signed by Halliburton employees requiring that all disputes be settled out of court, a legal analyst for CNN says employees alleged of gang raping a former employee may go free.

Former employee Jamie Leigh Jones is filing a federal lawsuit claiming she was gang-raped by employees of Halliburton in Iraq and held shipping container with a bed, then told she would be fired if she sought medical treatment.

"She signed an employment contract and there is a mandatory arbitration clause in that contract," CNN legal analyst told Kiran Chetry on CNN's American Morning Tuesday. "It says if there's any dispute arising out of your employment or related to your employment, that dispute doesn't go before a jury, doesn't go before trial judge, goes before an arbitrator."

"The bottom line is I am surprised that the Justice Department and that the prosecutors have not investigated this to its completion and brought charges and I have to say I think that is coming," Hostin said. "I think after all the press that we've seen, that is going to come, but this is a civil action, an action that she is bringing and typically when you bring a civil action, you can bring it according to The constitution or according to your rights you can bring it in a court of law. She signed that right away with her employment contract and people do it all the time."

"You're talking money, not prison time for the accused if they are found guilty," Chetry added.

This video is from CNN's American Morning, broadcast on December 12, 2007.




RUSH TRANSCRIPT (via closed captions)


:: two members of congress are demanding answers about contractors accused of raping a coworker in iraq. Jamie lee jones, now filing a federal lawsuit, there she is picture there is, against halliburton and kellogg, brown and root, accusing co-workers of drugging her and raping her at camp hogan baghdad in 2005. After it happened she was held in a shipping contain we are guards without food or water by kbr until u.s. Embassy workers came to her rescue, after her dad called the state department. Due to a legal loophole the accused may never face justice. "american morning" legal analyst sunny hostin is here to explain what is, first of all, a horrible story when you hear her hell it, what is the legal loophole.

:: she signed an employment contract and there is a mandatory arbitration clause in that contract, and this is really a take-away for the viewers. You probably have that in your own contract in your employee handbook that sort of thing. It says if there's any dispute arising out of your employment or related to your employment, that dispute doesn't go before a jury, doesn't go before trial judge, goes before an arbitrator.

:: this is more than a dispute. She's alleging a gang rape in which she was drugged. When does the criminal nature of something take press den over a contract.

:: the bottom line is I am surprised that the justice department and that the prosecutors have not investigated this to its completion and brought charges and I have to say I think that is coming. I think after all the press that we've seen, that is going to come, but this is a civil action, an action that she is bringing and typically when you bring a civil action, you can bring it according to the constitution or according to your rights you can bring it in a court of law. She signed that right away with her employment contract and people do it all the time. You have to look at your employee contract and employment manual.

:: the other confusing part is she says a rape kit was done afterward, she was seen by army doctors, evidence of rape, and the rape kit then lost by the company.

:: coverup.

:: and they're now saying, they're wording, they feel they're going to vigorously defend against these false accusations, it seems they've already decided this didn't happen.

:: yeah, and that's what it seems, it's really odd to me that they would continuously say that this has not happened, that these claims are meritless, because we know the two embassy officials had to come and rescue her from this container. She has a great case but it is a case that's going to be heard in front of an arbitrator. Let me also say this, arbitrators sometimes are former judges so that is not to say she won't have her day in court, albeit an arbitration hearing but she will have a day in front of a judge.

:: you're talking money, not prison time for the accused if they are found guilty.

:: we'll see them in court soon I think.






 
 


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