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Sexual Abuse of Teens in the Military’s J.R.O.T.C. Program


Mr. Mayes, who declined to remark for this text, was charged with one rely of prison sexual misconduct with a minor, although his lawyer instructed the courtroom that the trainer had “a powerful case for innocence.” The case was later dropped, with prosecutors saying there was inadequate proof to pursue the case.

The varsity district, however, in the end averted a lawsuit by agreeing to pay about half one million {dollars} to 3 college students who mentioned Mr. Mayes acted improperly.

In JROTC lecture rooms, instructors are usually not simply lecturers. They’re superior officers, and college students are taught to comply with the chain of command.

“Obedience is the primary lesson each army particular person should be taught,” one of many program’s textbooks says.

Abuse victims mentioned the facility dynamics in this system made it tougher to withstand sexual assaults.

Considered one of them, Jordan Leloup, got here from a troubled childhood of poverty and medicines in Tennessee and now not had a relationship together with her mother and father. She mentioned she yearned for one thing akin to “household.”

When the JROTC teacher, Michael Bass, approached her in the future through the 2013-14 college 12 months about becoming a member of this system at Hendersonville Excessive College, she mentioned, he had an interesting gross sales pitch. “We’re like household,” he instructed her.

After she joined, Mr. Bass, who was 44, invited her for dinners at his dwelling, the place she would socialize together with his spouse and youngsters. Then one night time, she mentioned, she arrived to search out herself alone with Mr. Bass, who had set two locations on the desk, with wine. He later took her to an upstairs room, the place the primary sexual assault occurred. She was 17.

After that, she mentioned, Mr. Bass would inform her virtually day-after-day the place to satisfy him privately — typically in a storage room in school or in an workplace, the place he would lock a steel door. When she started to precise reluctance, she mentioned, he pressured her.

“Any time he instructed me to be prepared or meet him someplace, I needed to be there,” she mentioned. “If I did not, there can be penalties.”

One night time when she threatened to inform the police in regards to the relationship, she mentioned, Mr. Bass insinuated that his time within the army had given him the talents that may permit him to kill her with out anybody realizing.

Mrs. Leloup ultimately did go to the police, who charged Mr. Bass, citing a recorded dialog by which he acknowledged a sexual relationship. He pleaded responsible to 2 counts of aggravated statutory rape in 2019 and was sentenced to 4 years in jail.

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