Army investigation awards benefits to rape accuser - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Army investigation awards benefits to rape accuser

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Paul McCallister Paul McCallister
BURNS, TN (WSMV) -

A female soldier in the Tennessee National Guard has been awarded benefits following a military investigation into whether she experienced injuries after she claimed she was raped by a male soldier.

The male soldier, Paul McCallister, is now the police chief of the town of Burns.

A line of duty investigation, that determined only whether the female soldier was harmed in the line of duty, reads that she will be awarded benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder secondary to sexual assault.

The line of duty investigation does not determine guilt, and McCallister has not been charged and faces no criminal investigation.

The female soldier asked the Channel 4 I-Team not to identify her.

"I'm praying hard for karma here. I'm really hoping karma pulls through on this one," the female soldier said.

The family of the female soldier has also been told that there is now an additional AR 15-6 Army investigation underway into the accusations surrounding McCallister.

McCallister told the Channel 4 I-Team in February he was innocent.

"All the allegations are false, and that's all I have to say," McCalliser said in February.

The determination by the Army in the line of duty investigation put the town of Burns in a difficult situation.

While it determined that the female soldier is due benefits, McCallister faces no criminal charges.

Burns Mayor Landon Mathis told the Channel 4 I-Team in an email he supports McCallister and that, "None of the findings [in the line of duty investigation] are new, and also, they [the line of duty investigating findings] aren't criminal."

The female soldier said following the alleged rape, which purportedly occurred at McCallister's home, she told the National Guard about it, and they did nothing.

Randy Harris, spokesman for the Tennessee National Guard, disputed her claim that her superiors ignored her allegations.

Harris said that her superiors told the female soldier that she had to go to police because the National Guard can't do criminal investigations.

The Channel 4 I-Team obtained records that show the female soldier did speak to a detective.

The female soldier also spoke with District Attorney Ray Crouch, and she said she was advised it would be difficult to prove she was raped, so she declined to press charges.

Crouch told the Channel 4 I-Team, though, that he was willing to prosecute at the time.

The female soldier said she decided that the only justice she may receive would be through getting benefits through a line of duty investigation.

"They're [the military] finally understanding that this is really going on in the military," the female soldier said.

The people of Burns are conflicted, with many supporting McCallister.

But others, like former Mayor and Councilman Joe Daugherty, wonders with the city having such a history of police chiefs being fired or removed from office for offensive but not criminal matters, what makes this situation any different.

"I feel like he's being treated differently than our previous chiefs," Daugherty said.

Harris would not confirm if a AR 15-6 investigation is underway.

McCallister's attorney, Jerred Creasy, sent the Channel 4 I-Team a statement, saying that his client has not been convicted or charged with any crime and, "Mr. McCallister maintains his innocence in this matter and appreciates the support of the people of Burns as he continues to focus on his responsibilities to the community."

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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