NewsNational News

Actions

Family of slain soldier Vanessa Guillen meets with President Donald Trump

Family of slain soldier Vanessa Guillen meets with President Donald Trump
Posted at 10:56 AM, Jul 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-30 14:01:22-04

The family of Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, an Army soldier who was allegedly killed by a fellow soldier and his girlfriend, met with President Donald Trump on Thursday.

Guillen's family began the day with a morning march on the National Mall in support of a military-focus sexual harassment bill bearing her name. The family and their attorney later met with the President at the White House.

The event was closed to the press.

"It hit me very hard," Trump said later Tuesday about meeting with Guillen's family, according to CBS News. "We didn't want this to be swept under the rug."

Guillen was last seen on April 22 at Fort Hood, Texas, where she had been stationed. On June 30, Guillen's dismembered remains were found on the banks of a nearby river.

Hours later, a suspect in the case, Spc. Aaron Robinson died by suicide during a standoff with police. Robinson's girlfriend, Cecily Ann Aguilar, was later charged with assisting in hiding Guillen's body. Aguilar has pleaded not guilty.

Guillen's family maintains that she had been sexually harassed by Robinson and others prior to her disappearance. They claim she did not report the abuse to her superior officers because she feared retribution.

While an investigation into sexual harassment against Guillen remains open, the Army has not yet confirmed the family's claims. According to ABC News, the Army has confirmed that Guillen may have been harassed, but it was not of a sexual nature.

The bill for which Guillen's family was marching, the #IAmVanessaGuillen Bill, would allow military members to file harassment claims with third-party agencies instead of within their chain of command.

"We will not accept anything less than justice for Vanessa," Attorney Natalie Khawam said, according to KPRC-TV in Houston. "When someone volunteers to serve our country, they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect by their fellow service members. This bill will help us provide the protection and respect to others that was denied to Vanessa."