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Air Force Academy Faces More Scrutiny After Failing To Care For Sex Assault Victims
The Pentagon's Inspector General announced Wednesday that it will investigate the troubled Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office at the Air Force Academy.
It's the third probe into issues with the office, whose leaders, the Air Force found last year, failed to care for victims and were called "derelict" by investigators.
The new investigation will examine whether the office can "respond to, support, and provide victim care to cadet victims of sexual assault," the Pentagon said.
The latest investigation comes after congressional scrutiny hit the school following revelations about the sexual assault office first reported in The Gazette last fall. The issues with the office were detailed in a 560-page report released under the Freedom of Information Act.
Academy spokesman Lt. Col. Allen Herritage said the school thinks the new probe will help it improve how it deals with sexual assault.
"We look forward to working with and learning from the DoD IG in their evaluation of all aspects of the United States Air Force Academy's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program," Herritage wrote in an email. "The findings of this will be an opportunity to assess our ability to prevent this crime and deliver the vital care for victims and we welcome that."
The report called for the firing of the office's former boss, Teresa Beasley, and revealed an office atmosphere that witnesses compared to a toxic high school. The report said victims were ignored as employees of the office filed claims and counterclaims against each other.
The academy has since rebuilt the office with new employees. But that didn't slow down lawmakers who want answers.
"In response to inquiries from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, dated December 13, 2017, and Senators Mazie Hirono and Tom Udall, dated January 3, 2018, the DoD Office of Inspector General will evaluate aspects of the United States Air Force Academy's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program," the agency said.
The inspector general's probe will likely take six months or more as investigators quiz witnesses and rifle through piles of paperwork.
The investigation also is expected to be wider than earlier looks at the sexual assault office. It will incorporate an examination of the Office of Special Investigations at the academy to determine if it properly investigates assaults and also examine the school's mental health care system.
Investigators will also examine whether some sexual assault victims were unfairly discharged from the school.
Herritage said the school has made big strides in addressing sexual assault.
"We have taken numerous steps to address the issues that we identified in the SAPR office and to increase our overall ability to respond, support, and provide victim care at the academy," he wrote. "We continue to transparently scrutinize our efforts as we strive to develop a culture of dignity and respect at the academy."
©2018 The Gazette. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
A Marine wanted for killing his mother's boyfriend reportedly escaped police by hiding inside an RV they'd spent hours searching before towing it to a parking lot, where he escaped under the cover of darkness.
It wasn't until more than two weeks later authorities finally caught up to Michael Brown at his mom's home, which was the scene of the crime.
Brown stuffed himself into a tight spot in his camper during an hours-long search of the vehicle on Nov. 10, according to NBC affiliate WSLS in Virginia. A day earlier, cops said Brown fatally shot his mother's boyfriend, Rodney Brown. The AWOL Marine remained on the lam until Nov. 27, where he was finally apprehended without incident.
No motive is yet known for last week's Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard shooting tragedy, which appears to have been a random act of violence in which the sailor who fatally shot two civilian workers and himself did not know them and did not plan his actions ahead of time, shipyard commander Capt. Greg Burton said in an "All Hands" message sent out Friday.
Machinist's Mate Auxiliary Fireman Gabriel Antonio Romero of San Antonio, an armed watch-stander on the attack submarine USS Columbia, shot three civilian workers Dec. 4 and then turned a gun on himself while the sub rested in dry dock 2 for a major overhaul, the Navy said.
"The investigation continues, but there is currently no known motive and no information to indicate the sailor knew any of the victims," Burton said.
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said it had successfully conducted another test at a satellite launch site, the latest in a string of developments aimed at "restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the U.S.", state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday.
The test was conducted on Friday at the Sohae satellite launch site, KCNA said, citing a spokesman for North Korea's Academy of Defence Science, without specifying what sort of testing occurred.
Since the Washington Post first published the "Afghanistan papers," I have been reminded of a scene from "Apocalypse Now Redux" in which Army Col. Walter Kurtz reads to the soldier assigned to kill him two Time magazine articles showing how the American people had been lied to about Vietnam by both the Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon administrations.
In one of the articles, a British counterinsurgency expert tells Nixon that "things felt much better and smelled much better" during his visit to Vietnam.
"How do they smell to you, soldier?" Kurtz asks.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Erik Prince, the controversial private security executive and prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, made a secret visit to Venezuela last month and met Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, one of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro's closest and most outspoken allies, according to five sources familiar with the matter.