Victims' Rights Caucus

Press Releases

Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) recently received a response from the Department of State after repeated requests for information regarding the investigation of sexual assault allegations made by Jaime Leigh Jones against American coworkers in Iraq. However, Congressman Poe deemed the response unacceptable and raised new concerns over the lack of cooperation by federal government agencies.

On January 7, 2008, Mr. Jeffery T. Bergner, Assistant Secretary of Legislative Affairs of the United States Department of State stated that the Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security conducted an investigation of Ms. Jones' case beginning in 2005 and referred Ms. Jones' case to the Department of Justice in the spring of 2007. Mr. Bergner referred any further inquiries concerning criminal prosecution to the Department of Justice.

According to the State Department response, they completed their investigation in the spring of 2007. However, Ms. Jones says that investigators have been in contact with her as recent as last week.

The investigation timeline that you presented has raised serious concerns, said Poe in a written response dated January 28, 2008. My office has been informed that State Department Special Agent Lynn Falanga was in frequent contact with Ms. Jones throughout the fall of 2007 and is still in frequent contact with Ms. Jones as recently as the week of January 22, 2008. I find your response unacceptable.

Due to the continued lack of cooperation, Congressman Poe also requested a meeting with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to discuss this issue further.

Congressman Poe was instrumental in facilitating the return of Ms. Jones after receiving a call from her father in July 2005. Congressman Poe contacted the State Departments Department of Overseas Citizen Services, which then dispatched agents from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to rescue her.

Congressman Poe is the founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Victims Rights Caucus. As a former criminal court judge and prosecutor for over 30 years in Houston, Texas, Poe is recognized nationally for his creative sentencing of criminals and as a dedicated advocate for victims and children.

For more information on Congressman Poes efforts on behalf of Ms. Jones, please visit our website at: http://vrc.poe.house.gov/