AP Investigation: US military overlooks sex abuse among kids

In this Feb. 7, 2018, photo, a cross rests on a bench on the front porch of Leandra Mulla's home in Tabor City, N.C. As a high school freshman in 2014, Mulla told Army investigators her ex-boyfriend dragged her to a secluded area of their base in Germany and sexually assaulted her. Four years later, she still wonders what came of her report. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Even as the U.S. military confronts rape in the ranks, it frequently fails to protect or provide justice to the children of service members when they sexually assault one another.

That’s according to an Associated Press investigation which found that assaults reported on military bases often die on the desks of prosecutors. Other cases don’t make it that far because military investigators shelve them, despite requirements they be pursued.

Instead of punishment or rehabilitation, offenders may be shuffled into the civilian world.

The Pentagon doesn’t know the scope of the problem. AP documented nearly 600 sex assault cases among military kids on base since 2007 in the U.S. and abroad.

Officials said they take seriously “any incident impacting the well-being” of service members or families and promised to take “appropriate actions.”

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