Claims against US contractor rejected

Jamie Leigh Jones had alleged that KBR employees drugged and raped her while working in Iraq.

Jones sued KBR, its former parent Halliburton Co, and a former KBR firefighter, Charles Bortz [Getty]

A Texas jury has rejected claims against military contractor KBR brought by a woman who said she was raped in Iraq six years ago.

Jamie Leigh Jones, 28,  alleged she was drugged and raped by KBR employees while working at Camp Hope in Baghdad.

Jones had sought compensatory and punitive damages from KBR, an engineering group that was once the biggest US military contractor in Iraq, and Halliburton Co, KBR’s parent until its 2007 separation.

She also sued a former KBR firefighter, Charles Bortz, whom she identified as one of her rapists.

The Houston-based companies and Bortz denied her allegations.

“Since 2005, KBR has been subjected to a continuing series of lies perpetuated by the plaintiff in front of Congress, in the media, and to any audience wishing to lend an ear to this story,” KBR said in a statement.

“The outcome of this jury trial as judged by her peers is the same result that the state department got in the 2005; that the justice department found in 2008.”

The lawyer for Jones was not immediately available for comment.

The  case generated many headlines because of other KBR controversies in Iraq and the fact that Halliburton and KBR fought to settle the case through arbitration, as specified in Jones’s contract.

Critics of the company note the Jones case was not an isolated one. A former contractor working for KBR pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a female co-worker in Iraq in 2008, and was sentenced to two years in prison.

Source: News Agencies