The Colombian Government and the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia rebel group), through an independent agency recently published an 800-page report which states that US troops and US contractors sexually assaulted fifty-four Colombian girls, some of whom were minors, while the Americans were deployed in the area during the mentioned years.

Who believes FARC though? Is this not the same entity that kidnaps people and holds them for ransom? This is where the movie Proof of Life comes into the picture.

The report alleges that the Americans got away without ever being prosecuted as a result of the US-Colombian Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) which gave US personnel immunity from local laws. These bilateral agreements and the diplomatic immunity of the United States Officials meant that troops and contractors could not be subjected to any of the local laws and could do whatever they wanted without any consequences or punishment.

Ungrateful people

The Americans were deployed in Colombia as part of “Plan Colombia”, and their role was to back the Colombian Government against FARC and well established cocaine drug cartels. How many people did America save here? 1 million? An entire country? And now there are complaints?

Reportedly, most of the sexual assaults occurred in the town of Melgar, in the Tolima province, which is located at a distance of 61 miles south-west of Bogota. In one of the reported obscenities, contractors based at Tolemaida Air Base were abusing more than 50 underage girls and making pornographic videos.

Another incident involved the sexual assault of a 12-year old girl, who had been drugged, inside the military base by Sergeant Michael J. Coen and contractor Cesar Ruiz. They were flown back to the US as terms of the bilateral agreements gave them immunity from local laws.

Los Angeles Pastor sued for alleged sexual harassment

Catherine Bergin, a married catholic woman, has filed a lawsuit through her sexual harassment attorney, against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and an assistant Pastor Rev. Nicholas Assi.

The complaint alleges that the Pastor had touched her inappropriately. It has been described in the lawsuit that on April 17th 2014, Assi had approached Bergin from behind and had put his arms around her and whispered into her ears “hi darling”. He proceeded to caress the victim’s lower abdomen and put his nose down the woman’s neck and took deep breaths.

The victim and her sexual harassment attorney have also accused Assi of inappropriate behavior in two other occasions during December 2013 and March 2014. Allegedly the Pastor had forcibly kissed Bergin on the lips in one of the incidents.

The pastor was known popularly as Pastor Nick and had become a friend of the Bergin family and would often bring the Bergin kids Middle Eastern treats.

Response from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles

The Archdiocese upon receipt of a compliant from Catherine Bergin had reported the incident to the police authorities. Assi had been removed from his position in the church pending the investigation. The incident was also announced at the parish informing parishioners of the matter. The Archdiocese offered the victim, Catherine Bergin, professional counselling which she declined.

The alleged occurrences were formally investigated by law enforcement and the district attorney’s office declined to press any charges. If you are a victim of sexual harassment, get in touch with a local attorney through USAttorneys.com, a reliable resource to find effective attorneys online.