Seems like a trend, doesn’t it?
WASHINGTON — A soldier assigned to coordinate a sexual assault prevention program in Texas is under investigation for “abusive sexual contact” and other alleged misconduct and has been suspended from his duties, the Army announced Wednesday.
The announcement came just one week after an Air Force officer who headed a sexual assault prevention office was himself arrested on charges of groping a woman in a parking lot.
The two cases highlight a problem that is drawing increased scrutiny in the Congress and expressions of frustration from top Pentagon leaders. Pentagon press secretary George Little said after Wednesday’s announcement that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is angry and disappointed at “these troubling allegations and the breakdown in discipline and standards they imply.”
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued a statement Wednesday evening saying his panel is considering a number of measures to counter the problem, including changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and will act on them next month.
“Tragically, the depth of the sexual assault problem in our military was already overwhelmingly clear before this latest highly disturbing report,” Levin said.
The Army said a sergeant first class, whose name was not released, is accused of pandering, abusive sexual contact, assault and maltreatment of subordinates. He is being investigated by the Army Criminal Investigation Command, but no charges have been filed, the Army said.
He had been assigned as an equal opportunity adviser and coordinator of a sexual harassment-assault prevention program at the Army’s 3rd Corps headquarters at Fort Hood, Texas, when the allegation arose, the Army said.
Thanks to Kush Arora.