Pentagon Stats Show 40 Percent of Cases End Without Prosecution or Punishment for Alleged Culprits
JUSTIN ROOD, ABCnews.go.com, April 9, 2008
Four in 10 military sexual assault investigations in Iraq and Afghanistan have ended without prosecution or punishment for the alleged culprits, according to new Pentagon statistics -- slightly more than those which have resulted in prosecution, punishment or both.
Out of 684 investigations opened, 122 were closed because investigators determined the victims' claims were unfounded; 101 were closed for insufficient evidence; and 44 were closed as unsolved, according to Pentagon figures provided to Congress in advance of a Wednesday hearing.
In 23 cases, the Pentagon said it has no record of action being taken. In nine others, its records show authorities "decided to take no action."
By contrast, 183 cases ended in some form of administrative discipline. Culprits were discharged, fired, deported, barred from their posts or received an unspecified "nonjudicial punishment," the document stated.
Of those which resulted in courts martial proceedings, 81 ended with convictions, and two alleged assaulters were acquitted, the figures showed. None appear to have been prosecuted in U.S. civilian courts.
Today a Defense official is slated to testify, along with representatives from the Departments of State and Justice, on sexual assault among service members and civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan.