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Lackland Sex Scandal: Air Force Admits Blame In Sexual Assault Cases

Lackland Sex Scandal: Air Force Admits Blame In Sexual Assault Cases

The Lackland sex scandal rocked the Air Force when 49 individuals came forward to say they were victims of rape or sexual assault, and now the scandal is getting an investigation from the House Armed Services Committee and some admissions from Air Force brass.

General Edward Rice testified that when the scandal first broke at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, the military thought it was the work of “a few bad apples.” But investigations found that the Lackland sex scandal was much bigger, he said.

“They had to both recognize that this is, in fact, a real problem and they had to recognize that they have a significant part to play in addressing the problem,” he said. “I’m not in any way ready to declare victory.”

An Air Force investigation uncovered 49 victims, three of them men. The Air Force disciplined 32 drill sergeants and training instructors on charges ranging from rape to unprofessional relationships.

Soon after news of the abuse broke, the Lackland sex scandal grew quickly. From The Huffington Post:

“In August, [retired Navy lieutenant and helicopter pilot Paula] Coughlin and several other military sexual assault survivors and advocates delivered a petition to Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) demanding an open hearing on the Lackland scandal. In less than a month, roughly 10,000 signatures had been gathered on the petition, which was backed by Protect Our Defenders, on whose advocacy board Coughlin and Norris both serve. More than 70 members of Congress also signed a petition echoing this request.”

The Department of Defense found that 75 percent of sexual assaults in the military go unreported, something Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh III called “one of the most challenging issues we have.”

“I look at the 59 victims; less than a handful came to us,” Welsh said, putting part of the blame for the Lackland sex scandal on the Air Force.

Rice also said that the blame for the Lackland sex scandal was pinned on the Air Force’s failures, the Los Angeles Times reported. He noted that “the vast majority of our instructors served with distinction in a very demanding duty assignment,” however, “we clearly failed in our responsibility to establish order and discipline among our instructors.”

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5 Responses to “Lackland Sex Scandal: Air Force Admits Blame In Sexual Assault Cases”

  1. Joseph Peterson

    And this is why the USMC trains their men and women seperately, and men are trained with men and women are trained by women. Way less chance of anything like that happening if you do it that way. I never understood why you wouldn't, but I'm just a jarhead.