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Arizona GOP Sen. Martha McSally says she was 'preyed on and then raped' in Air Force by a superior officer

Then. Martha McSally, the first female fighter pilot to fight in combat, reported during a Senate hearing on Wednesday she was "preyed upon and then raped" in the Air Force by a superior officer. the Air Force, the disclosure during a Senate hearing on sexual assault allegations in the military. McSally said she didn't report the assault because she didn't trust the system, and was ashamed and confused. "" My drive to fight against sexual assault in the ranks is not from the outside looking in, "McSally began. "And it is deeply personal." In addition, she has also "witnessed so many weaknesses in the processes involving sexual assault, investigation, and adjudication," which motivated her to make recommendations to Air Force leaders, and informed my advocacy for change while I was in the military and since I have been in Congress. " Then the moment turned staff for McSally &#821 1; as she said she would use her" voice and unique experience on this mission to stop military sexual assault for good. " FILE – In this Dec. 18, 2018 file photo, then Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz. Waits to speak during a news conference at the Capitol in Phoenix. Late. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., The first female fighter pilot to fly in combat, she was raped in the Air Force by a superior officer. (AP Photo / Matt York)       "I am so inspired by the many survivors who found the strength to share their stories, reports their assets, and demand accountability, justice,…

Then. Martha McSally, the first female fighter pilot to fight in combat, reported during a Senate hearing on Wednesday she was “preyed upon and then raped” in the Air Force by a superior officer.

the Air Force, the disclosure during a Senate hearing on sexual assault allegations in the military. McSally said she didn’t report the assault because she didn’t trust the system, and was ashamed and confused. “” My drive to fight against sexual assault in the ranks is not from the outside looking in, “McSally began. “And it is deeply personal.”

In addition, she has also “witnessed so many weaknesses in the processes involving sexual assault, investigation, and adjudication,” which motivated her to make recommendations to Air Force leaders, and informed my advocacy for change while I was in the military and since I have been in Congress. “

Then the moment turned staff for McSally &#821

1; as she said she would use her” voice and unique experience on this mission to stop military sexual assault for good. ”

FILE – In this Dec. 18, 2018 file photo, then Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz. Waits to speak during a news conference at the Capitol in Phoenix. Late. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., The first female fighter pilot to fly in combat, she was raped in the Air Force by a superior officer. (AP Photo / Matt York)

“I am so inspired by the many survivors who found the strength to share their stories, reports their assets, and demand accountability, justice, and change,” McSally said. on this silent epidemic and so many improvements have been made — including more than 100 legislative actions over the last decade — on all aspects of military sexual assault. ”She added:” So, like you, I also am a military sexual assault survivor, but unlike so many brave survivors, I didn’t report being sexually assaulted, “she continued. “I was ashamed and confused. I thought I was strong but felt powerless. The perpetrators abused their position of power in profound ways. one case I was tried and raped by a superior officer. “

McSally did not name the officer, but said she was in the divorce of the military system and many commanders to address sexual violence.

– Arizona GOP Sen.

– Arizona GOP Sen. Martha McSally

“Like many victims, I felt like the system was raping me all over again,” McSally said. “I was horrified at how my attempt to share my experiences was handled. I almost separated from the Air Force at 18 years of sevice over my despair. “

But, McSally said,” I didn’t quit. I decided to stay and continue to serve and fight and lead. then in the House and now the Senate. “

The revelation came just weeks after Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, came forward in January with her story of being formed by a former boyfriend, saying she decided to do so after details of her divorce were made public.

McSally was defeated by Democrat Kyrsten Sinema in the 2018 Senate election by 2 percentage points. Interim Sen. Jon Kyl then announced he would resign as Arizona’s other senator, and Republican Gov. Doug Ducey chose McSally to replace Cool.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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