The Associated Press would never state it so plainly, but there it is.
AP’s investigation revealed that reports of sexual violence among kids on U.S. military bases at home and abroad often die on the desks of prosecutors, even when an attacker confesses. Other cases are shelved by criminal investigators despite requirements they be pursued. Many cases get lost in a dead zone of justice, AP found, with neither victim nor offender receiving help.
…Rep. Jackie Speier, a California Democrat, called AP’s finding of nearly 600 reports of sexual assault among children on bases since 2007 “a national disgrace and a military scandal.”
…The tens of thousands of kids who live on U.S. bases are not covered by military law. The Justice Department, which handles civilian crimes on many bases, isn’t equipped or inclined to take on juvenile cases, AP found.
This legal and bureaucratic netherworld also extends to the Pentagon’s worldwide network of schools, which afford students fewer protections than public schools if they are sexually attacked by a classmate on campus. The federal law that offers help to victims of student-on-student sexual assault, known as Title IX, does not apply to federal education programs, such as those run by the military.
In a separate letter to Mattis on Thursday, Murray, the top Democrat on the Senate education committee, demanded answers by early April to a long list of questions about how the Department of Defense Education Activity handles assaults on its campuses.
The military school system that educates some 71,000 children has no specific policy to respond to student-on-student sexual violence and doesn’t accurately track the incidents, AP found. More than 150 cases weren’t disclosed by schools in reports that are meant to alert headquarters to serious incidents.