A 20-year old pregnant Marine has been missing for more than three weeks after she withdrew her claim that she had been sexually assualted. Maria Frances Lauterbach was scheduled to appear at the sheriff’s office to testify about the alleged assault when she suddenly disappeared from the post. She was last heard from on December 14, and her phone was found near the main gate. Her car was found on Monday near a bus station.
There is no doubt females still encounter sexual harassment in the service. In many cases, female soldiers are under extreme pressure to avoid bringing charges against fellow soldiers for sexual assualt because the military doesn’t want to project an image that such activities might occur in the service. Perhaps, if the environment for being able to openly discuss sexual harassment, individuals like Ms. Lauterbach might feel more comfortable dealing with issues rather than fleeing from disagreeable encounters with superiors.