Marine corps tries to gag corporal charged with attempted murder after her family blamed attack on PTSD from a rape by a fellow marine years ago
- Corporal Thae Ohu, 27, charged with attempted murder of her boyfriend in April
- She has been locked in a Naval brig in Chesapeake, Virginia, since June this year
- Family want her released to a mental health hospital, to treat her alleged PTSD
- Relatives say PTSD was caused by a rape she suffered years ago at the hands of a fellow marine, and prompted April’s attack
- Marine Corps is now trying to gag the family from speaking out before the trial
The US Marine Corps is trying to gag a corporal charged with attempted murder after her supporters claimed her actions were the result of PTSD from a sexual assault.
Thae Ohu, 27, an administrative specialist from Virginia Beach, allegedly attacked her boyfriend Michael Hinesley in April and has also been charged with aggravated assault.
She has been held at the Navy Consolidated Brig in Chesapeake since June, despite her family’s pleas about her mental health and trauma.
Thae Ohu, 27, has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly attacking her boyfriend Michael Hinesley
The outcry has led the Marine Corps to seek a gag order to stop Ohu’s attorneys or any other witnesses from speaking to the press, the Daily Press reported.
Ohu’s family have been pleading for the corporal, who worked with the Marine Corpe Intelligence Schools aboard Dam Neck Naval Base, to be released into mental health treatment.
They say the alleged attack in April was the result of a breakdown and she has suffered severe PTSD and other mental health issues after she was raped by another marine in Japan in 2015.
The US Marine Corps is trying to gag her witnesses after her supporters claimed her actions were the result of PTSD from a sexual assault
The proposed gag order was filed on Monday and will be argued before a judge on Thursday at Quantico.
It relates to reporting that has been shared online in advocacy groups about how the military treats victims of sexual assault.
One Facebook page called Justice for Thae Ohu has 7,000 followers and a fundraiser has made more than $15,000 to cover her legal and medical fees.
The government’s attorneys say that statements made by witnesses to newspaper The Virginian Pilot about Ohu’s mental health are not relevant to the current legal proceedings.
Ohu’s family have been pleading for the corporal to be released into mental health treatment
The lawyers wrote: ‘These issues have been or will likely be litigated either through motions, during trial, or during sentencing.
‘It is inappropriate for counsel, witnesses, or parties to this case to continue communicating with the press and causing extrajudicial statements and factual assertions to be further promulgated.’
They added that the alleged sexual assault had no relation to the new charges.
A Marine Corps spokesman said future hearings would continue to be open to the press regardless of the outcome of the gag order.
One Facebook page called Justice for Thae Ohu has 7,000 followers and a fundraiser has made more than $15,000 to cover her legal and medical fees
Ohu’s attorney Eric Montalvo, who previously served in the marines, said his client is in the top five in terms of the severity of her mental health condition out of all the cases he has taken in his career.
He told The Pilot: ‘The default position in the law is that the courtroom is an open forum.
‘There are mechanisms to close it when appropriate … but a standing order for no publicity or commentary to be made does not seem like it should apply in this case.’
He added that at her hearing in July, the Government made reference to the previous incident, which was heard by reporters.
Alleged victim Michael Hinesley previously asked officials to drop the charges because he believed the incident was related to Ohu’s trauma.