Can the military solve its sexual assault crisis?

In the latest installment of a growing scandal, an Army sexual-assault prevention officer allegedly ran a prostitution ring

Female Marine recruits wait for a dental examination on their first full day of boot camp in February in South Carolina.
(Image credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The Defense Department said on Tuesday night that a sergeant first class at Fort Hood in Texas is under investigation for sexual assault, abusive sexual contact, maltreating subordinates, and "pandering" — a euphemism, USA Today reports, for forcing a subordinate into a prostitution ring he allegedly helped run. The unidentified officer was the sexual-assault prevention and response coordinator for his battalion, until relieved of duty when the allegations surfaced.

No charges have been filed yet, but the timing is inauspicious for the U.S. military. Just over a week ago, Air Force Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, the officer in charge of his entire branch's sexual-assault prevention program, was arrested for allegedly violently groping a woman in a parking lot. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel responded Tuesday night, much as he had in the Krusinski case, with deep "frustration, anger, and disappointment over these troubling allegations and the breakdown in discipline and standards they imply," according to a spokesman.

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.