Senator Says Military Plagued by Sexual Assaults
The sexual battery arrest of the Air Force officer who led the service’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response unit underscores how far the Defense Department has to go in addressing the plague of sexual crimes in the military, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said Tuesday.
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., told a committee hearing that a Pentagon report to be released later Tuesday reportedly estimates that, on average, there are more than 70 sexual assaults involving military personnel every day.
Authorities in Arlington County, Va., said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski was charged with groping a woman in a northern Virginia parking lot on Sunday. Krusinski was removed from his post in the sexual assault unit after the Air Force learned of his arrest. He started in the post in February
“While under our legal system everyone is innocent until proven guilty, this arrest speaks volumes about the status and effectiveness of (the Defense) department’s efforts to address the plague of sexual assaults in the military,” Levin said.
The Pentagon report says that the number of sexual assaults reported by members of the military rose from 3,192 to 3,374 in 2012, while the department estimates that as many as 26,000 service members were assaulted, based on anonymous surveys, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the report.