TORONTO, Jan. 14 /CNW/ - Maria Frances Lauterback, 20 years old,
disappeared last December after meeting with military prosecutors to talk
about her allegations of rape against fellow soldier Corporal Cesar Armando
Laurean. Officials in North Carolina discovered what they assumed to be the
remains of the 8 months pregnant US Marine and her unborn child in Laurean's
The uncle of the victim stated that she had been forced to rent an
apartment off the military base because she was being harassed. The US Marine
Corp had issued a Military Protective Order (similar to a restraining order)
last July. However, civilian investigators were not made aware of this,
leaving Laurean free to approach the woman who he allegedly raped.
In a press conference held Saturday afternoon, Sheriff Ed Brown said:
"One of the things that will probably stick with me for a long time, and
forever, is that little hand, the way those fingers were turned, that had been
burned off the arm. That is bizarre. That is tragic. And it's disgusting."
This latest tragedy affecting our neighbours to the South comes a week
after the death of Joanne Nadine Hoeppner, a 28 year old pregnant woman from
Winnipeg. The Canadian woman was also 8 months pregnant.
"It is alarming to witness the passivity of governments in face of such
tragedies. The case of Maria Frances Lauterback, who was raped and chose to
keep her child, should serve as a wake up call to governments from around the
world who have yet to put in place a law to protect unborn victims of crime.
She died as a result of her desire to bring her child into the world. I
certainly hope the Canadian parliamentarians will realize how much damage is
being done to our society when its own government refuses to protect the lives
of women who have chosen to become mothers," said Marie-Christine Houle,
Executive Director of Women for Women's Health.
Women for Women's Health has been working with families who have suffered
the consequences of the current, yet archaic, Canadian law, which does not
allow the perpetrator of a crime to be prosecuted for injuring or killing an
unborn child after an attack on the mother. "This is an opportunity for the
Harper government to be truly tough on crime," said Miss Houle.
On November 21st, 2007, Conservative MP Ken Epp introduced Bill C-484
(Unborn Victims of Crime). The proposed legislation which would make it a
separate offence to injure or kill a child if the mother is attacked is being
debated in the House of Commons. "Our hope is that Canadian citizens will take
the time to phone their MP to demonstrate support for this very important
piece of legislation," added Miss Houle. "It is truly about protecting a
woman's choice to carry her child to term and making Canada a just society,"
For further information:
For further information: Media Contact: Marie-Christine Houle, Executive
Director of Women for Women's Health, (519) 569-0369