Estimates of military sex assaults skyrocket
WASHINGTON — Pentagon estimates of how many troops are sexually assaulted show the numbers increased by more than a third since 2010, from 19,300 servicemembers believed to be victims that year to 26,000 in 2012, according to a Defense Department survey to be released this week.
The findings, which the Pentagon acknowledges show that “sexual assault is a persistent problem and there is more work to be done,” emerge at a time when the focus on this abuse within the ranks is growing in intensity. The Air Force reported Monday that its chief sexual assault prevention officer was arrested during the weekend for allegedly groping a woman.
Meanwhile in Congress, legislators are drawing up bills that would take the decision for prosecuting these cases out of the hands of commanding officers and allow military lawyers to decide — a move that military leaders say would hurt their ability to maintain order and discipline. Legislators, however, say that under the system, victims decline to step forward out of concern that their complaints will not be taken seriously.
Twice in recent months, three-star Air Force generals have been under fire for throwing out sexual assault convictions for lower-ranking officers.
According to the Pentagon survey results, only about one in 10 victims who are sexually abused stepped forward to complain last year. That amounted to 3,374 cases in 2012, of which only about 3,000 chose to press charges. “Far fewer victims report sexual assault that are estimated to experience it on an annual basis,” says a written summary of the Pentagon findings.
The full Pentagon report on sexual abuse is scheduled for release some time this week. The summary was provided to USA Today.
The survey revealed that while the rate of men suffering sexual abuse has remained steady since 2010, the rate of female victims increased from about 1 in 23 to 1 in 16 last year.
Air Force officials addressed the latest sex scandal to hit the service: the arrest of the officer who led its Sexual Assault Prevention and Response branch on sexual battery charges.
Gen. Mark Welsh, the Air Force chief of staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he was “appalled at the deeply troubling allegations” against Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, who was arrested early Sunday in Arlington, Va., not far from the Pentagon. He's accused of grabbing the breasts and buttocks of a woman he did not know. He was drunk at the time, according to the police report.
Krusinski will be arraigned on Thursday, Welsh said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- FCC chairman floats ‘hybrid’ ruling on net neutrality
- Mexican judge releases retired Marine held for 8 months in jail
- Quarantine lifted, Maine nurse given right to roam
- Medicare paid for drug coverage of patients who had died, investigators say
- Hospital: Girl, 14, dies after Washington state school shooting
- U.S. Department of Agriculture mismanaged rural program, federal audit shows
- Space tourism rattled by test flight explosion of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo
- Federal civil rights charges called ‘unlikely’ in Ferguson shooting
- Man guilty in Florida A&M University band hazing death
- NYPD’s highest black official quits
- Designer of ‘Operation’ game short of surgery cash