Military Surgical Tech Forcible Touching Raises Questions

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An Airman 1st Class is embroiled in a scandal after it became apparent that he forcibly touched three women. The Air Force Times is quoting a branch press release stating that Michael Lightsey touched the women “for purposes of sexual gratification.”

All three of the women were undergoing procedures at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, part of the 59th Medical Wing. They were under the influence of anesthesia and found a man in blue scrubs groping them. One woman described the man as taking her hand to rub his genitals. Another testified that the man groped her breasts and sexually assaulter her with his fingers. All three women had similar accounts of such assault.

Lightsey was found guilty of sexual assault and received both a dishonorable discharge and two and a half year in prison, according to the San Antonio Express-News. One of the women stated that the offense caused Post Traumatic Stress disorder.

While the Air Force is maintaining this was an isolated incident, it raised bigger questions about the role of sexual abuse in the military. There have already been high profile incidents of sexual assault and this fits into the narrative that it is a growing problem.

For women entering into what largely remains a man’s world, it is imperative for their sacrifice to be honored and not sullied by personal injury. The need for protections for the women that defend the country is ever needed. When women are able to have advocates that can fight back against assault then the process of preventing future issues can be kickstarted. The need for attorneys that can challenge a staid bureaucracy and a man’s world is imperative and able to assist those that are going through such personal trauma. This can be a vital link between the current attitudes and prevailing actions and meaningful legislation.