In 2007, I became interested in a developing story surrounding Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, a 20-year-old pregnant Marine who, at the time, was allegedly killed by fellow Marine Cesar Laurean. She had filed a rape claim with the military against him seven months before he was accused of killing her. In August of 2010, Laurean was found guilty of murder, but DNA showed that he was not the father of her child. Even with that, Laurean had claimed that the two of them had consensual sex despite the fact he was the married father of a young child.
I became engrossed in the complexities of this story, and through reading more about it, I learned how much of a problem sexual assault is in the military. At the time, I was also enrolled in my first playwriting class in college, so I took this interest and wrote a 10 minute play inspired by these events. That play came to be known as Veracity. A couple semesters later, I hadn't let go of the story and came back to it, developing it into a One Act play. Throughout the past ten years, I was never really able to let the story go. This little mother had its claws in me, as Kafka would say. So now I'm developing this once 10 minute play into my first feature film.
I believe one of the reasons I've been unable to shake this story off of me is that over the years, the news headlines surrounding rape have only continued to add more fuel to the fire within me. It's important to share and hear survivor's stories. We must not silence these voices or blame them for what has happened. There's a lot more thought that goes into this for me, and I want to continue to share these thoughts and some research with others because this is such an important topic.
With that, I will be starting to produce an e-newsletter. It’s either going to be weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly — depending on how well my writing is going. You can sign up for it here. It’ll be a little bit about the writing process, sharing articles and books I’m interested in, and discussing important issues such as this. And while I’ll be taking on some serious topics in the newsletter, it’s not going to be super heavy handed. After all, it’s still going to be blunt and awkward me sharing my story with you.