WASHINGTON—The DoD announced today that in FY 2012, there were a total of 3,374 reports of sexual assault involving troops as victims or subjects, an increase from the 3,192 reports received in FY 2011.
The statistics were released in a report that came just as DoD was dealing with the arrest of the Air Force officer in charge of the Air Force’s sexual assault prevention on allegations of sexual battery. Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski was arrested on May 5 in Arlington, Virginia after a woman accused him of grabbing her buttocks and breasts in a parking lot. Krusinski was removed from his Air Force position pending the outcome of an investigation.
During a press briefing today Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said that they are all “outraged and disgusted over these very troubling allegations.”
“Sexual assault is a despicable crime and one of the most serious challenges facing this department. It’s a threat to the safety and the welfare of our people and the health, reputation and trust of this institution,” he said.
During a press briefing today President Obama said he had “no tolerance” for sexual assaults.
“I have communicated this to the Secretary of Defense,” he said. “We’re going to communicate this again to folks up and down the chain in areas of authority, and I expect consequences. So I don’t want just more speeches or awareness programs or training but, ultimately, folks look the other way. If we find out somebody is engaging in this stuff, they’ve got to be held accountable, prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court-martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged. Period. It’s not acceptable.”
Hagel said today he was announcing a new series of actions to enhance DoD’s sexual assault and prevention efforts.
“I’m directing the military services to align their programs with a revised sexual assault prevention and response strategic plan,” he said. “By clearly defining priorities, objectives, tasks, responsibilities, this plan and its effective implementation will help ensure that the DoD’s ongoing initiatives to reduce and ultimately eliminate sexual assault are being closely tracked and are achieving their purpose.”