A Clarksville, Tenn. mother is suing the U.S. Army for $30 million after claiming that the Army’s “silence on a sex abuse investigation allowed a man to rape her daughter and videotape the act,” according to an Aug. 25 report from USA Today.
Joshua Cline, 29, was convicted last week of raping the woman’s 6-year-old daughter in 2008; but the mom’s lawsuit charges the Army with not informing her that Cline was being investigated, “ instead telling her that she didn't have anything to worry about ….”
"It was devastating, absolutely devastating," said the girl's unnamed mother, who had a family relationship with Cline.
"I've lost a house, I've lost a job, I've lost my friends over it. I've lost a lot. I'm a single mom with two kids, and it's been difficult. The Army needs to step up and take responsibility."
Cline had returned from Iraq for two weeks in March, 2008 when according to court papers, “he molested the 6-year-old girl and videotaped the act.”
His crime came to light after the Army found out about him trying to sell that videotape depicting the child’s rape.
After seizing Cline’s computer in Oct. of 2008, the Army discovered additional child porn images and videos. The Army then contacted the mom “asking about some questionable pictures on Cline's computer.”
"I straight-out asked them, 'Should I let him into my home?'" she recalled. "And they said, 'I'd watch her, but we don't think there's anything to worry about.'"
Months later, Cline raped the daughter again, who had just turned seven; and again he videotaped the molestation. Cline tried selling that videotape for $25,000.
The mother didn’t learn about her daughter’s sexual abuse until Jan. 2009, when the mother was arrested and charged with child abuse. The mother’s seven-year-old daughter and another newborn child were both taken away from her.
Eventually, the child abuse charges against the mom were dropped; and she has since regained full custody of both of her children.
Joshua Cline was sentenced to 27 years in a federal prison and an additional 50 years in a state prison after pleading guilty to both instances of raping the child. Both sentences are to be served concurrently.
The mom from Tenn. said that although the abuse has left her daughter damaged, the lawsuit filed against the U.S. Army isn’t about the money. She just wants to insure that her daughter is taken care of, and that ultimately, the Army is held accountable for not informing her of their investigation into Cline.
"The (amount) doesn't matter to me," she said. "I blame them for letting him victimize her again. They knew what he had done, and they hid it."
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