The three United States Military Academies - West Point, the Air Force Academy, and the Naval Academy - are all highly regarded academic institutions that have helped produce some of the most influential figures in the history of our nation. Unfortunately, a recent report on the prevalence of sexual assaults at these hallowed facilities may threaten to tarnish this reputation of academic and military excellence.
According to the Department of Defense's annual "Report on Sexual Harassment and Violence at the Military Service Academies," the number of reported sexual assaults at the three schools during the 2009-2010 academic year increased by as much as 64 percent from the previous year.
Specifically, the report found:
- At West Point, the number of reported sexual assaults in the 2009-2010 academic year was 10; (there were 9 the previous academic year)
- At the Air Force Academy, the number of reported sexual assaults in the 2009-2010 academic year was 20; (there were 8 the previous academic year)
- At the Naval Academy, the number of reported sexual assaults in the 2009-2010 academic year was 11; (there were 8 the previous academic year)
According to Department of Defense officials, this rather significant increase may not necessarily be indicative of an increase in the number of sexual assaults. Rather, it may indicative of the fact that more students/cadets are choosing to come forward and report sex crimes.
(Unfortunately, estimates from the Pentagon show that less than ten percent of sexual assaults at military academies are reported to the proper authorities.)
The aforementioned Department of Defense report describes this increase in reported sexual assaults as "concerning," and goes on to summarize the efforts of each respective academy to improve the procedures associated with reporting sexual assaults. (The stated goal is to improve the "climate of victim confidence.")
Furthermore, the report indicates that processes will be created to carefully monitor the progress of each academy in this area and that Department of Defense will make visits to each campus when conducting next year's evaluation.
If you or a family member has been charged with sexual assault or any other sex crime, be certain to contact an experienced legal professional.
Stay tuned for further developments from our Dallas criminal defense blog ...
More Sex Assaults Reported at Military Academies (National Public Radio)