Consent or no, woman says Bragg soldier sexually assaulted her
Posted June 26
Fayetteville, N.C. — Police said they found no evidence to charge a Fort Bragg soldier with sexual assault following a January incident that has led to four other soldiers facing secret peeping charges.
Jeffrey Creech, 29, John Nagy, 21, Samuel Mazariegos, 21, and Anthony Johnson, 22, are due in court later this week on charges of possessing a photographic image from peeping.
Police said a woman seen in the video met a man on Tinder who invited her to a house party at an apartment complex in Fayetteville. While at the party, the woman and the man went into a bathroom to have sex. During the encounter, the woman said, she noticed someone was filming her on a camera beneath the door.
"I noticed I was being filmed, and I pointed it out to the guy who attacked me, and he was like, 'It's fine. Just relax,'" 19-year-old Aaliyah Palmer said Monday.
WRAL News usually doesn't identify victims of sexual assault, but Palmer came forward to make a public stand on her case.
Palmer said she tried to stop the encounter shortly after it began, but the man refused to comply.
"He started pulling my hair pretty rough. I told him he was hurting me, and I asked him to stop doing that," she said. "I remained calm physically, and I kind of just kept telling him to stop and he was hurting me, and he just kept going."
Palmer went to Fayetteville police the following day to report the alleged assault and undergo a rape kit examination at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.
"Am I really going to be believed against six guys enlisted in the U.S. Army? Probably not," she said.
The man Palmer says assaulted her wasn't charged in the case.
Under a 1979 state Supreme Court ruling, a person who consents to sex cannot legally change his or her mind, meaning a partner who refuses to stop when asked cannot then be charged with sex assault or rape.
Sen. Jeff Jackson, D-Mecklenburg, introduced a bill in March to get what he considers an archaic law off the books, but the measure never received a hearing.
With the legislature preparing to adjourn for the year, Jackson said he is working feverishly to tack his legislation onto another bill in order to push it through to passage.
"That law in itself is terrible. I don't know who came up with it," said Palmer, who said she suffered anxiety attacks because of the alleged assault and the video of her that was shared with soldiers.
"I had to withdraw from my spring semester at N.C. State because of all of it," she said.