I previously wrote about my own experience with the military’s sexual assault prevention program, and my opinion that prosecutorial authority for such crimes must remain inside the regular chain of command for any other serious crimes. Some news on that front:
Figures released Friday in the Defense Department’s annual report on military sexual assaults in the ranks show that more sex crime accusations are leading to court-martial charges, and more of those cases are ending in convictions than in past years.
According to the newest report, of the 2,353 accused sex offenders whose case investigations were completed in fiscal 2011, 21 percent had court-martial charges levied against them. Of those 489 cases, 370 were closed. Sixty-two percent of the closed cases ended in a conviction, guilty plea or Chapter 10 dismissal in lieu of court-martial.
The fact that the number has gone up is good news, showing that problem has received increased attention and awareness throughout the service. The only thing I would like to see is a comparison to civilian numbers – how does 21% compare to civilian sexual assault/offense charges?