Navy says sex at root of more than a third of its court cases
July 23rd, 2013
09:26 PM ET

Navy says sex at root of more than a third of its court cases

By Larry Shaughnessy

No other crime, not even drugs, leads to more court cases in the U.S. Navy than sex offenses, according to an internal report out this week.

The Navy reported there had been 135 courts-martial involving sailors around the world in the first six months of 2013 and about 36% involved a sex-related charge.

The report covers charges like adultery or attempted indecent acts up to sex assault and rape.

The report was conducted at the insistence of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.

"This department is fully committed to using all available resources to prevent this crime, aggressively investigate allegations and prosecute as appropriate. We will not hide from this challenge. We will be active, open and transparent," Mabus said.

The report comes amid mounting concern about sex abuse reports in the armed forces.

Recent figures show an increased rate of reported assaults. Recent high-profile cases have involved officers in the Air Force and the Army. The U.S. Naval Academy is also faced with a sex assault case involving football players.

President Barack Obama and military leaders have vowed change. Legislation in the Senate would remove sexual assault cases from the military chain of command. A recent report from a government watchdog found that in many cases the military did not properly investigate sexual assault claims.

But not every Navy courts-martial resulted in a conviction. Of the 14 cases of sex assault prosecuted by the Navy during the period in the report, 10 resulted in not guilty verdicts.

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. William Bligh

    Right then, rig the grates for punishment. Bring back the cat-of-nine-tails and flogging. We'll 'ave no buggery or rapin' in our fleet . . .

    July 25, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Reply
  2. lesliee

    Prosecuting–so commanders can overturn the decisions. Shameful.

    July 25, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Reply
  3. simplyput

    I'd like to see a breakdown on how many lawsuits are regarding women vrs. gays.

    July 24, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  4. tinykhan

    I wonder what Einstein thought it was a good idea to put men and women onboard ships/subs for 6-10 months at a time, and not expect something to happen, be it real, judgemental, or false accusation? Yes, in the military you are guilty until proven innocent, and if a woman cries wolf, everyone is terrified. People go overboard in their response to ensure a lawsuit doesn't entail later. And if proven false, the man's career is destroyed anyway. I am glad I got out of the navy before the influx of women happened on my ships. It is just too combustible an environment.

    July 24, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Reply
    • HerndonRunner

      You are assuming that all the assaults are men on women, when in fact that is not the case.

      July 24, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Reply
    • Mychele

      Are you saying you lacked basic self control skills? that's what this boils down to. If our military personnel lack the discipline it takes to say no to come-ons and to hormones, then how do we fight wars?

      July 24, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Reply
      • denverboy

        well...we have not won a war a real war since WWII...

        July 25, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • lesliee

      Well since you got our before women came on ships, you don't know anything about it, do you? And are you possibly aware that the Navy consists of more than personnel on ships?

      July 25, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Reply
  5. Navyvet8192

    I saw more than one career destroyed by one person making false allegations against another in my 11 years in. As soon as the allegation is raised it becomes "Guilty until proven innocent" and you are literally in a fight for your life and livlihood. Not enough is done to punish those who make false allegations, nor is enough done to restore the reputations and standing of those who are cleared of any wrong doing. It's a lop sided system that is fundamentally broken.

    July 24, 2013 at 11:40 am | Reply
    • Rina

      I saw plenty of abuse the other way around too. Most of the time, these things happen because you put young immature people out there and then add the drinking and drugs, what do you expect?

      July 25, 2013 at 7:02 am | Reply
  6. Andrew Davis

    Well, they are prosecuting them... so thats good

    July 24, 2013 at 1:08 am | Reply

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