University lecturer, Nat’l Guard colonel dismisses Vanessa Guillen’s murder, says ‘sexual harassment is the price of admission’ to military

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee said in a statement on Saturday that it doesn’t condone comments made by one of its professors about the death of Army PFC Vanessa Guillen, but it also “cannot regulate the private speech of its employees.”

According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, senior lecturer Betsy Schoeller, a colonel in the Wisconsin Air National Guard, reportedly posted a dismissive comment to an article about Guillen’s murder in a private Facebook group called Veteran Humor:

“You guys are kidding, right? Sexual harassment is the price of admission for women into the good ole boy club. If you’re gonna cry like a snowflake about it, you’re gonna pay the price.”

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Guillen’s family has said that she told them she was being sexually harassed on base and that she planned to file a report. CBS58 said Schoeller’s comment had since been deleted from the Facebook page.

On Friday, UWM student Emily Cruz started a petition to fire Schoeller.

“As a woman, and a student at UWM I feel unsafe knowing that we have professors who think the sexual assault of women serving in the military is justified,” Cruz wrote. “UW-Milwaukee claims to care about the safety of their students, therefore we demand and are holding UWM accountable to take action against Professor Betsy Schoeller.”

Guillen, 20, disappeared from Fort Hood in Texas on April 22, as CrimeOnline has previously reported. Remains believed to be Guillen’s were found mixed with concrete in a shallow grave near the Leon River late last month. Authorities believe Fort Hood soldier Aaron Robinson beat her to death with a hammer and then had his girlfriend — the estranged wife of a former soldier — help him dispose of the body. A authorities closed in on him, Robinson shot himself to death. The girlfriend, Cecily Aguilar, with conspiracy to tamper with evidence.

The Wisconsin National Guard came under scrutiny in 2019 after a federal investigation found that the guard’s leader, Maj Gen Donald Dunbar, refused to allow outside investigations of claims of sexual assault and harassment as required. He resident his post and retired from the military. The investigation covered multiple incidents since 2013; a federal investigator at one point called the state’s response to an allegation of sexual assault “an absolute train wreck.”

Nearly 60,000 people had signed Cruz’s petition on by late Saturday afternoon.

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[Featured image: Lt Col Betsy Schoeller, right, greets then-First Lady Michelle Obama in Milwaukee in 2012/Staff Sgt Jeremy Wilson]