If you’ve been following the story of Vanessa Guillén, you can stop using the word “allegedly” when it comes to Cecily Aguilar and her involvement in the terrible murder. But even more importantly, you can now rest just a little easier knowing that Cecily Anne Aguilar has lost three decades of her life because of her actions. After pleading guilty to the murder of Vanessa Guillen, Cecily Aguilar is going to prison for 30 years.
What Happened to Cecily Aguilar?
You may be wondering, was Cecily Aguilar charged? Well, now she has been charged, tried, and sentenced to 30 years. After helping her boyfriend at the time with the murder and discarding of Vanessa Guillén, a judge in Waco, Texas, has delivered the closest form of justice this terrible crime can have.
Cecily Aguilar is the sole arrested suspect in Vanessa Guillén’s death at Fort Hood, recently renamed Fort Cavazos. There were multiple charges including helping Army Spc. Aaron Robinson dismember and hide Guillén’s body in the woods, along with providing false statements to the authorities.
Guillén’s failure to report for duty would find her declared missing in April 2020. Her remains were found on July 1, 2020, and Spc. Robinson would take his own life the same day. The investigation continued despite the suicide with Aguilar being arrested.
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Exposing Issues at Fort Hood/Cavazos and Beyond
Two weeks after finding Guillén’s body, Aguilar pled not guilty to conspiracy charges. Despite Aguilar’s claim of not being informed of her Miranda rights during her confession, a judge rejected her legal team’s attempt to dismiss it.
Guillén’s family asserts she experienced sexual harassment at the Texas base. Army officials denied Robinson’s harassment but later admitted her harassment by another soldier in a report a year after.
Her death prompted a social media movement, #IAmVanessaGuillen, where service members shared their base experiences. Then-U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy acknowledged the base’s high rates of murder, assault, and harassment, blaming leadership failures.
In 2021, legislation was passed honoring Guillén, reducing commander authority, and enhancing reporting options. The U.S. Army disciplined 21 Officers linked to her death. But it didn’t stop there.
There is now a more open culture about sexual harassment, or any sort of harassment, that those in the American Armed Forces may face. Far from perfect, the military continues to be under more pressure than ever to help others avoid such treatment.
The Vanessa Guillén murder would spark international protests for a response. Deeply felt by the Latino community, justice has been demanded by the family and many who believe the American Armed Forces failed its Soldier.
Where is Cecily Aguilar Now?
McLennan County jail has been the home of Aguilar since being arrested, but that’s not really important. What is important is that the I Am Vanessa Guillén Act is now a law. Here’s what that means:
- In a very unfortunate way, Vanessa Guillén’s death was not in vain. In fact, it was her unnecessary sacrifice that is now helping improve lives for Soldiers through a better military.
- Officers have fewer protections and those serving have more resources to help overcome harassment and unfair treatment.
- More awareness has been spread to help the military community, and frankly, women everywhere.
It’s also worth noting that Cecily Aguilar being sentenced can also hopefully bring some level of justice to Guillén’s family and community. Because at the end of the day, this isn’t a story about a coward but the legacy of a hero.