Clemency for Martin: Restoring Honor after Suffering Sexual Abuse in Military Prison

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Hi, everyone! My name is Jeni Mizzell, wife of Martin Mizzell (formerly spelled Mizzles). For those of you who have been following our story on GoFundMe, I promised to follow up with more information regarding Martin’s diagnosis of severe PTSD and chronic MDD. Although the following is not the particular incident that provoked him to attempt suicide on June 9, 2020, Martin has privately been fighting a battle for 20 plus years (10 of those with me by his side) that he is now ready to share with the world. He is doing it with the intention of giving others (men and women alike) the courage to speak out against their abusers as well as to seek personal justice (to include a Presidential Pardon). Before getting into the details of his abuse, however, I would like to point out that we live in a flawed society that fails to recognize that men, too, are often on the receiving end of sexual abuse.

Martin, like many young men and women, had something to prove to his father back in the day. So, with that, barely out of high school he joined the United States Army in 1996. While enlisted, he won Battalion soldier of the quarter twice (in two different units). He was a radio repairman and held secret clearance. He was on track for a good military career until facing personal problems with his now ex-wife while stationed in Germany. He self medicated with marijuana and eventually turned himself in, confessing to his counselor that he had a drug problem and needed help. Instead of receiving said help, however, his first sergeant drug tested him the very next day knowing he would fail. They didn’t offer needed counseling or help. Instead, they failed him in a major way and his nonviolent offense ended up resurfacing in a separate incident (as things often do when they aren’t dealt with). He was court martialed and faced 24 years in federal prison for possession/intent to distribute marijuana and a couple of other drug related crimes outlined in the official court documents. 

Abuse of power at its finest! Those in authority failed to give Martin the help he desperately needed and humbly requested. Rather, they sent him into the hands of his abusers: the prison guards… of whom there was no escaping. He was additionally stripped of his title, his pay/GI Bill, and given a bad conduct discharge (that conveniently enough, the United States Army can find no record). Is he still enlisted? Why can his DD-214 not be found? 

Details of Martin’s abuse is outlined in the official court documents that I would like to provide as proof. There are nine exhibits from nine different men who all tell the same or similar story of abuse. And, let’s be clear, these 9 men did not collaborate together to fabricate a story. The affidavits were penned from different places after the abuse had taken place. Some were penned by men still incarcerated after being transferred to a different military prison. 

The men all named the same abusers and today, I publicly call them out by name: SGT Davis and SPC Cundall. A quote from the official court documents concluded that “The physical and psychological pain appellant [Martin] endured as a result of SGT Davis’ and SPC Cundall’s ‘unnecessary and wanton’ pat downs cannot be denied. Furthermore, appellant [Martin] was forced to tolerate unwanted sexual assaults from SPC Cundall. Therefore, the appellant’s injuries were very real and substantial. The use of such unnecessary force by SGT Davis and SPC Cundall was clearly excessive and ‘repugnant to the conscience of mankind.’”

What then, you may ask, happened to these men who inflicted such grievous crimes and abuse towards these prisoners? To my knowledge, absolutely NOTHING. My husband, Martin, requested a “meaningful reassessment of his sentence and return to the record of trial... for a new action and court-martial order” but to no avail.

That said, will you join our cause in seeking justice? Martin has swept his pain under a rug for over 20 years… pain of which I did not know the extent until reading the entirety of the court documents. I wept for my husband. I wept for all the other men who were abused, while I raged with anger at the men who inflicted pain but never paid for it.

Martin has paid for it. Our family has paid for it. We are still reeling from his recent suicide attempt (although it’s important to note that the events outlined in this petition are - while intertwined - not the sole reason for his suicide attempt). We want justice and we also want the attention of the U.S. Army and The White House/President of the United States. I’m not certain who handles their mail, but I feel that my letter to the President was intercepted and answered by a novice who clearly did not read my plea. I received a lame response from someone to say Mr. President only intervenes in federal matters. This is a federal matter! Martin served time in federal prison for his mistakes. That said, I desire the following: 1. That ALL Martin’s  rights as a law abiding citizen be restored (i.e. a Presidential Pardon)  2. That the U.S. Army pay for what happened as a direct result of their negligence and inappropriate response to Martin’s cry for help and for also turning a blind eye to his abusers and lastly 3. That the men who abused my husband and (at the minimum 8 other men) be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and be stripped of any honorary titles which may (or may not) have been bestowed upon them during their military career.

Thank you for your time. I have participated many times in signing petitions on this platform (Change.org) concerning the things of which I am passionate. Please spread this like wildfire and let justice prevail. If you want personal updates or to make a donation as we navigate through recovering from Martin’s suicide attempt, our GoFundMe campaign can be found here: Help Recovering After Attempted Suicide Updates to this petition/campaign will of course be posted through Change.org. Thank you doesn’t seem adequate, but thank you with all sincerity for your willingness to help. The following link contains the official court documents: United States vs. Martin R. Mizzles