Senator Demands Pentagon Turn Over Info On Sexual Assault Cases [View all]
In the wake of troubling revelations about the handling of sexual assault charges on U.S. military bases in Japan, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is calling on the Pentagon to hand over detailed information about sexual assault cases at major U.S. military bases.
Gillibrand, the chief sponsor of a bill to combat sexual assault in the military, sent a letter Monday to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, demanding information pertaining to reports of sexual assault and related offenses from January 1, 2009 through January 1, 2014 at Fort Hood, Naval Station Norfolk, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Gillibrand’s spokesperson, Glen Caplin, said in a statement that the senator has a “responsibility” to review the data in light of documents revealing the chaotic way the U.S. military handled sexual assault cases in Japan. The documents, obtained by the Associated Press through a Freedom of Information Act request, shed light on more than 1,000 reports of sex crimes involving U.S. military personnel based in Japan from 2005 through early 2013.
"As the Chair of the Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee, it would be irresponsible to assume or conclude the 'chaotic' nature of 'random and inconsistent judgments' in Japan is an anomaly, a further review of data from additional bases is essential to provide transparency and accountability,” Caplin said in a statement to CBS News.
The AP report showed that charges of rape were often reduced, even in cases with strong evidence. Of the 244 servicemembers whose punishments were detailed in the records, nearly two-thirds were not incarcerated.