For the second time this year, an independent federal review, conducted by the US Defense Department’s Office of Inspector General, has blamed Pentagon authorities for how they have responded to cases in which children on military bases sexually assault each other, AP reported Friday.
Similar to a February assessment by the Government Accountability Office, the Pentagon's watchdog report – released on Wednesday -- stated that authorities minimized such incidents “at nearly every stage,” according to an AP investigation of the matter, which noted that consequently cases were rarely referred to civilian courts that can provide justice both for victims and offenders.
“Civilian legal authorities and installation commanders generally did not hold juvenile offenders accountable,” the inspector general’s report said as quoted in the report.
According to the report, more than 1 million school-age children live in military families—many on US bases “where kids and teens sometimes sexually assault their peers,” further pointing out that such incidents “were typically lost in a legal and bureaucratic netherworld, where authorities failed to aid victims and offenders rarely faced consequences beyond barring them from base.”
The Pentagon, the report noted, “didn’t know the scope of a problem it did little to track.”