Over a dozen JBLM service members sue over abuse

By Ranger Staff on July 5, 2024

Fifteen current or former servicemen from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, alleging the Army's failure to protect them from a military doctor charged with sexual abuse, are pursuing $5 million each in damages citing profound emotional distress.

In one complaint, reported by the Associated Press, a serviceman expressed, "I grapple with overwhelming feelings of sadness, fear and anxiety. The emotional toll has strained my relationships with family due to mistrust stemming from the violation I experienced."

Maj. Michael Stockin, a specialist at Madigan Army Medical Center, faces 52 charges, including claims of abusive sexual contact involving 41 victims, disclosed Michelle McCaskill, spokesperson for the U.S. Army Officer of Special Trial Counsel in the AP story. Stockin has entered a plea of not guilty.

Scheduled for a January 2025 court-martial, Stockin's legal team, led by Robert Capovilla, vows to vigorously contest each allegation throughout the trial proceedings. Capovilla emphasized, "We expect the U.S. Army to uphold Major Stockin's Constitutional rights at every stage. We urge everyone to maintain objectivity, respecting the presumption of innocence, as this legal battle commences."

A court-martial operates akin to civilian criminal trials, where evidence is presented, and witnesses cross-examined, the AP reported. Charges of abusive sexual contact carry a maximum sentence of seven years each, with the possibility of a cumulative sentence totaling 336 years if consecutive sentencing were imposed, McCaskill clarified.