In recent months, the behavior of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and the allegations made against him by dozens of women has taken America by storm and set off a chain reaction of women coming forward to speak about workplace sexual assault, sexual harassment, and the boys club that perpetuates this type of bad behavior. While the entertainment industry has been rocked the hardest by this scandal, others have gone more or less unaffected. Sexual assault in the US military has at least entered the public consciousness over the last decade, but many stories remain buried, suppressed, and untold.

Our story begins when Colonel Christopher Riga agreed to hire Jennifer O’Brien as the Group secretary in 2012, who soon became notorious within the ranks of 7th Special Forces Group. The Group’s Deputy Commanding Officer, Robert Kirila and the unit’s Executive Officer, Dave Gunther, interviewed her and made the recommendation to hire O’Brien.

As the Group secretary, she appeared to be a competent employee at first, but over time it became apparent that she had so many affairs that they were impossible to keep track of. She was quite open about her relations with Team Sergeants, Sergeants Major, and Officers within the unit. Each day, O’Brien would gather with the Green Berets in the Group conference room for beers where she would recount her latest conquests. Although a civilian employee, these exploits were technically in violation of UCMJ for the soldiers involved who were married as outlined in Article 134 which pertains to adultery. O’Brien was herself married to an Airman during this time.

There were other Special Forces soldiers who came to learn of these relationships and developed concerns about them. In one instance, O’Brien was observed crying at her desk. When asked what was wrong she declined to explain. However, as the weeks went on she began to open up to some of the 7th Group soldiers in the office about how she had been seeing an officer in the unit, but when she broke it off, he kept harassing her by sending her pictures of his genitalia. At first, she did not want to name this individual but later on, as events began to spiral out of her control, she revealed that it was the commander of 7th Group’s Third Battalion, Dave Bowling. As it turned out, he was a so prolific that his own men nicknamed him “Dick Pic Six.”

When the new incoming Group commander, Colonel Michael Ball, took over he began to make some honest efforts to clean things up in his headquarters, but faced significant obstacles due to the amount of leverage that O’Brien had, especially when it came to the tranche of emails, text messages, and pictures she had in her collection from married men in 7th Group. Col. Ball was not a prior 7th Group officer and not a part of the “good old boys” club in the unit. He was straight-laced and by the book. The situation came to a head when it was discovered that O’Brien was also abusing crystal meth. At this point, Colonel Ball and others saw this as an opportunity to purge O’Brien from the unit. A 15-6 investigation was initiated, and the Military Police were informed so that they could sweep the Group headquarters with drug-sniffing dogs.

Interestingly, O’Brien was conspicuously absent that day; some say tipped off by someone in headquarters. Only a select few would have known that the Military Police would be coming. Meanwhile, an officer named Jason Sartori came to the unit and was slated to take command of C-3-7, the 7th Group Commanders in-Extremis Force that specializes in counter-terrorism operations. Sartori and Bowling both started off in 5th Special Forces Group prior to making the jump over to 7th Group. Allegations have been made that when Sartori’s wife found electronic messages between him and O’Brien, a confrontation began. At that point, Sartori allegedly tried to strangle his wife. Several sources went on to allege that Sartori was also physically abusive with O’Brien, who eventually broke things off with Sartori.

In an online posting, O’Brien stated that, “…because of a relationship I had with a monster, a Soldier with whom I worked, I have been indefinitely suspended, and placed in a no pay status, as a Department of the Army Civilian.” Along with her statement, she posted a series of photographs showing bruising and an apparent broken elbow, injuries she allegedly suffered by the hands of Sartori. In an interview with NEWSREP, Sartori vigorously denied any allegation of physical abuse against his ex-wife or O’Brien. Sartori was arrested for false imprisonment, strangulation, battery, and intimidating a witness but these charges were later dropped.