Soldier’s death sparks outrage

ABC News’ Stephanie Ramos reports on the case of Vanessa Guillen sparking a renewed discussion about sexual harassment and assault in the military.
9:59 | 07/08/20

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Transcript for Soldier’s death sparks outrage
To the death of army specialist Vanessa Guillen. Investigators believed she was killed by fellow soldier who took his own life after they are now looking into claims that she was sexually harassed before she went missing. Although it's still unclear if sexual abuse played a role. This case is raising troubling questions about harassment and sexual assault in the military has sparked a new hash tag. I am Vanessa Guillen were others are now sharing their stories ABC's Stephanie Ramos has this story. The disappearance and death of army soldier but as sticky yen has sparked outrage across the country and calls for change in calling yeah. The twenty year old soldier was last seen alive in April at one of the largest army installations in the country Fort Hood in Killeen Texas. The loss of a talented soldier the loss of a loving family member in the loss of a friend with a bright future ahead of her. Army investigators located human remains last week buried near a river about twenty miles from the base. The army confirming this week the remains are indeed the NASA's. That confirmation announced on the same day suspect Sessler Aguilar appeared in court charged with helping to dispose of the mrs. body. The criminal complaint says Aguilar allegedly told the FBI. She and her boyfriend army specialist Aaron Robinson went back to where they disposed of the message remains days leader to break them down more. Argue lower than leading investigators to Robinson when they confronted him Robinson shot and killed himself. Deacon Stanley says Vanessa told them she was being sexually harassed by a soldier before her disappearance but did it reported. It's not clear if Robinson is that soldier the army says they are still investigating those claims but say they have found no evidence that yen was sexually harassed. At work. Out that eats with thousands of people there. I I eat this. For our. Pet lions eat clearly they're capable of neat feet because beating answers net feel lucky. Still Luntz. And that's a disgrace. What I was able to share was tempered by my responsibility. To protect the integrity of the investigation. So that we today. We've. NASA be. Prosecute those responsible for this travesty. And in the end be in the position to punish them. And I don't. I just wish I could have done a better job balancing those two needs. A prominent Latino civil rights organization belief of united Latin American citizens known as Lou black is now urging Latinos not to join the military until they have answers as to how this could've happened to the mess up. Why do you think it took so long for war the army for the military to come forward and say. This is suspicious spirits and out play here. You know when it when we saw their current and it doesn't believe almost two months leader windy frank Lisa that there was struck me. That was involved. You know that really and he has lender. Stephanie Smith. The proper protocols where I'll and I know that the family and Adam Huber person apparently. He alleged that. There was a breach of protocol and that this he was not properly investing heat it. Army investigators are trying to figure out what the exact relationship wise between Vanessa and Robinson. But for years the military says it has worked to combat sexual harassment and assault across the services. A pentagon survey released last year shows the number of sexual assault increased in 2018. To 20500. Almost the same levels as five years ago. It results that led pentagon officials to review and to make changes to sexual assault prevention efforts the survey shows female service members between the ages of seventeen and 24 or at the greatest risk for sexual assaults from their years the Pentagon also reporting in 2019 more than a thousand formal sexual harassment complaint 810% increase from the previous year. Do you think the military is failing to protect. Not only Latina women but women and. Absolutely. You know we know that. Women experience a significant number of harassment and sexual assault tough. Rape in the military and he also known that men are target. But are disproportionately it is women who want personally experience. Than. You know I I. And and what I do is seize the feet leader and preventative pictures writing this I'm army active programs. Shark that's the army's sexual harassment assault response and prevention program. Where soldiers are educated on the issues surrounding sexual violence and those who experienced incidents of sexual assault or harassment. Can reportedly designated victims' advocates there. We want to make sure that there's in the fifth the charm program which is set out to investigate harassment and assault. An Indian act that work we want to see more aggressive enough insurance to mutual are. The military sea Eagles to protect our community. The NASA's case isn't the first high profile incidents where sexual harassment or assault has been alleged. Senator Martha mix Sally it Republican of Arizona and the first woman in the air force to fly in combat. Told a senate hearing broke last year she had been raped by a superior officer. I am also a military sexual assault the driver. But unlike so many brave survivors. I didn't report instances. I blame myself. And it seemed confused. And I thought I was strong. Without parents. The perpetrators abuse there position of power in profound ways. And in one case I was preyed upon and then raped by a superior officer. In January army car. Catherine split Stosur. Final take federal lawsuit alleging that the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Sexually assaulted her multiple times when they worked at US Strategic Command in 2017. Spot still seems allegation had taken center stage at air force general John Heinz confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill last year. The hearing was delayed pending an investigation which concluded. The allegations to be unsubstantiated. Senator makes Sally even calling her a liar. We spoke with its plus Stosur that. And clearly in that friends and our house some support what message do you think that sentenced to sexual assault victims. Mohammed says that you're a senior general officer who. Is popular guy. You will get away with felony sexual assault Tom that if you are a victim who also has a very distinguished record and no record of lying. Under any circumstances he won't be believed. That. Despite the fact that there was no credible evidence that I was lying and I want it. It basically tells sexual assault survivors that don't bother report you won't be taken seriously. And we'll give your attacker promotion. Heightened was confirmed and continues to deny the allegations. We spoke with air force prosecutor and retired colonel Don Christiansen who now heads up the nonprofit protect our defenders. He says in the military the chain of command determines the process when he service member comes forward reporting sexual assault or harassment. No teary. Prosecution decisions are made by. Prosecutors on snow or audit someone's actually saw it over please and urged students and you are prosecutor. The military that decision is destined Arlene wanderer who notes the it's anger. Again. It's in salt resulted raptors lack semi. The. Army has tried to curb instances of sexual assault and harassment by using tools like the buddy system. The initial thought behind it was to pair each service member with an assigned troop. To build camaraderie and make sure your comrade is doing the right seeing. But in recent years. It's also been used informally on military installations as a way to prevent young women from being assaulted on base camps. A female walking by her sound more male walking by himself. Those are usually the high target soldier so we try to influence of battle buddy system. In our nation's capital calls are growing louder for congress to act representative told C Gabbert who also serves as a major in the army National Guard. Has called for an independent investigation into what happens to Vanessa. In a statement released Tuesday Gabbert wrote. Vanessa Stanley has suffered the route her disappearance with no real answers or transparency about what happened to Vanessa and why. While we are too late to save the Nestle life we must honor her life by getting to the truth and working to prevent this from happening to others. But as the Stanley asking for the saint and also pushing legislation to protect other servicemen and women. I want that bill to be. Good. At that end up they where are you. At the end of the day we all deserve to be respected is besting the one that put their lap average every day. Stephanie Ramos ABC news New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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