Rep. Mike Turner: Marine Corps Response Shows Lack Of Urgency For Maria Lauterbach

Published: Thursday, April 10, 2008 @ 10:23 AM
Updated: Thursday, April 10, 2008 @ 10:26 AM

Congressman Michael Turner received responses to 29 questions he transmitted to General James T. Conway, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, on behalf of the family of murdered Marine Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach.

Rep. Turner, who represents Vandalia, Ohio, the hometown of the Lauterbach family, has met with family members since attending the funeral of Maria Lauterbach in February.

At the request of Mary Lauterbach, the mother of LCpl Maria Lauterbach, Congressman Turner requested answers from the U.S. Marine Corps about the handling of the murder and rape investigation by Marine officials.

In a letter dated March 31, 2008, Lieutenant General R. S. Kramlich, Director of Marine Corps Staff, submitted responses to Congressman Turner’s initial inquiry.

"After nearly three weeks, the Marine Corps submitted a lengthy response to the original questions I submitted on behalf of the Lauterbach family. Unfortunately, the response from General Kramlich demonstrates that the actions taken by the Marine Corps to protect LCpl Maria Lauterbach were totally inadequate," Congressman Turner said.

Congressman Turner cited several examples of what he calls “a lack of urgency in the Marine Corps response to Maria Lauterbach’s plea for help” including: The Marine Corps delay of 7 days to begin an investigation into Maria Lauterbach’s rape allegation against Cpl Laurean;

The Marine Corps acknowledged an assault on LCpl Lauterbach and vandalism to her car but took no further action to protect her from harm;

The ongoing 7 month investigation into the rape allegation which led to little action and the first formal Article 32 hearing scheduled days after Maria was murdered;

The details which went unreported to the Marine Corps chain of command at Camp Lejeune, NC regarding the disappearance of Maria Lauterbach and her unborn child for as much as three weeks.

"You get the very tragic sense that Maria Lauterbach felt alone. Her behavior between May and December should have been recognized by the Marine Corps as that of a rape victim. Today, even as we know the fate which has befallen Maria, the Marine Corps continues to defend its actions rather than examine what decisions could have prevented this tragedy. Maria Lauterbach’s case highlights the need to elevate the protection accorded to female military personnel who file claims that they have been sexually assaulted and raises serious questions about the procedures that the military has in place for responding to sexual assault claims," Rep. Turner said.

On May 11, 2007, Marine Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach filed a claim that fellow Marine Corporal Cesar Laurean had sexually assaulted her on the base of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. On or about December 14, 2007, LCpl Maria Lauterbach and her unborn child, Gabriel Joseph, were murdered and buried in a shallow grave in the backyard of the home of Cpl Laurean.

Al Franken: What happens to his Senate seat if he resigns?

Published: Thursday, December 07, 2017 @ 8:16 AM

What You Need To Know About Al Franken

Sen. Al Franken, (D-Minn.), will make an announcement on the floor of the U.S. Senate Thursday as to whether he will resign his seat amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Franken is expected to speak at 11:45 a.m. ET.

Franken has been accused of inappropriate conduct by several women. On Wednesday, more than 20 fellow senators called for Franken to resign.

What happens to his seat if he does? Here’s a look at the process of filling the seat.


A person who would be a senator from Minnesota must:

Be at least 30 years old

Be a resident of Minnesota

Be a U.S. citizen for at least nine years

Who makes the decision on a replacement?

According to state law, Minnesota’s governor is authorized to fill the vacancy if a senator resigns. The governor, Democrat Mark Dayton, can make temporary appointments to fill Senate vacancies, but a special election must be held to fill the seat until the next scheduled election of that seat is held.

When would a special election be held in this case?

In Minnesota, if the seat is vacated at least 11 weeks before a scheduled primary, then a special election must be held the following November. There is a primary set for Aug. 14, 2018, in Minnesota, so that would mean that a special election would have to be held in November 2018 if Franken resigns before May 29, 2018. Minnesota’s other senator, Amy Klobuchar, (D), is up for re-election in that election.

The winner of the special election would serve out Franken’s term, which ends in January 2021. If that person wants to stay in the seat for the six-year term that begins in January 2021, he or she would have to face re-election in November 2020. 

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) looks over his papers during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands, on Capitol Hill November 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Atheists erect billboard saying church is ‘fake news’

Published: Thursday, December 07, 2017 @ 7:23 AM

Atheist Billboards Spark Controversy In New Mexico

A billboard in Albuquerque is turning heads this Christmas season., the website for American Atheists, has purchased billboard space touting “Just skip church it’s all fake news!”

>> Read more trending news 

Nick Fish, a member of American Atheists, told KRQE, “It’s a great way for us to in a kind of lighthearted way start those conversations and get people talking.”

People were talking about the sign, but maybe not the way the group intended.

Connie Lindsay told KRQE, “I think it’s terrible, because Christmas is almost here for one thing and that’s not the way I wish to celebrate the holidays.”

But others agreed with the sign.

“I myself am an atheist so gonna have to concur with that,” Devon Gutierrez told KRQE.

The sign is meant, according to Fish, to not only get people to think critically about the message conveyed by religion, but also to remind people. “Christianity or any other religion doesn’t have a monopoly on December. So, our message here is, however you want to celebrate it, go ahead and do that,” Fish said.

Similar billboards were scheduled to be installed in Texas, NBC News reported.

Billboards were scheduled to be put up in Oklahoma, but they were not permitted by the billboard company, NBC News reported.

U.S. Navy sailor sketched Pearl Harbor attack before he was killed in action

Published: Thursday, December 07, 2017 @ 8:40 AM

VIDEO: Sailor Sketched Pearl Harbor Attack Before He was Killed in Action

Leonard Franklin Tomlinson lived and served in an age before social media, and the image he left behind is less ephemeral and certainly more meaningful than the slew of selfies we all serve up today.

>> PHOTOS: 'December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy'

>> Click here or scroll down to read more

Man saves wild rabbit from California wildfires

Published: Thursday, December 07, 2017 @ 9:53 AM

Scenes from Southern California Wildfire

A California man risked his life to save a wild rabbit among the flames in the state’s wildfires.

KABC reported that a video posted to social media shows the unidentified man dressed in shorts and a hoodie running after the rabbit in La Conchita, California. 

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

Witnesses said the man pulled over to save the wild rabbit along Highway 1 in Southern California’s Ventura Country, according to ABC News

The man could be seen jumping up and down in a panic before crouching down into the bush and attempting to grab the animal. The rabbit ultimately allowed the man to pick it up.
RELATED: Photos: California wildfires burn thousands of acres, force evacuations

The man did not want to be interviewed.

The Thomas fire started Monday and has since grown to 90,000 acres. It has prompted evacuations across the region.