A decade after the Pentagon began confronting rape in the ranks, the U.S. military frequently fails to provide justice to the children of service members when they are sexually assaulted by other kids on base.
An Associated Press investigation finds that sex assault cases occurring where military kids live and learn often die on the desks of prosecutors. Criminal investigators shelved an unknown number of reports.
In Maryland and Virginia, AP reported at least 30 children or teens have been involved in these sex assault cases. Five of the investigations in Maryland were for rape charges.
Instead of punishment or rehabilitation, offenders may be shuffled into the civilian world.
The Pentagon doesn't know the extent of the problem. At Fort Meade in Maryland, records the Army acknowledges are incomplete document at least nine sex assault cases among children or teens since 2007. Five were rape investigations. There was one report at Naval Support Activity Annapolis.
In Virginia, similarly-incomplete records document at least 21 sex assault reports among children since 2007. According to the records, Fort Belvoir accounted for 13, while Quantico had two.
Pentagon officials promised to take "appropriate actions."