For the second time in two weeks, a military official tasked with combating sex assault has been accused of sexual assault. All military sex assault counselors must now undergo retraining.
While no charges have yet been filed, the soldier has been removed from his post, suspected of “pandering, abusive sexual contact, assault, and maltreatment of subordinates,” according to an Army statement, which does not name the suspect.
The soldier is also suspected of being involved in a prostitution ring, says a congressional staffer familiar with the case.
Secretary Hagel directed the “retraining, re-credentialing, and re-screening” of all sexual assault prevention officers.
In the meantime, the Defense secretary “is looking urgently at every course of action to stamp out this deplorable conduct and ensure that those individuals up and down the chain of command who tolerate or engage in this behavior are appropriately held accountable,” said Pentagon Press Secretary George Little.
On Capitol Hill, lawmakers once again expressed outrage over the second high-profile sexual assault scandal in as many weeks among military members tasked with preventing the crime.
“I see no meaningful distinction between complacency or complicity in the military’s latest failure to uphold their own standards of conduct,” said House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon (R) of California, who has a granddaughter in the Army.