Feb 13,2008 00:00
WASHINGTON -- A Texas woman claiming Halliburton/KBR co-workers gang-raped her in Iraq says she and other women are prohibited by contract from talking about their cases.
Jamie Leigh Jones, in remarks prepared for testimony Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee, said she and 38 women were forced to argue their claims of sexual harassment, assault and rape before private arbitration panels rather than in open court, ABC News reported.
Jones, of Houston, returned from Iraq in 2005. After months of waiting for criminal charges to be filed, Jones sued Halliburton and KBR. KBR moved to have the claim heard in arbitration as Jones' contract provided.
Jones said she didn't know when she signed her employment contract she was ceding her right to sue.
"When I decided to pursue a civil suit, I was informed that within my 13-page employment contract that had an additional five pages attached, (there was) included an arbitration clause," Jones said in her prepared statement. "I learned that I had signed away my right to a trial by jury."
Jones founded the nonprofit Jamie Leigh Foundation, which helps victims of sexual crime overseas while working for government contractors or other corporations.
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