Advocacy groups sue US military for sexual assault records

Submitted by YanqiXu on Thu, 12/14/2017 - 8:02am

Two advocacy groups are suing the U.S. military for records pertaining to sexual assault and the military justice system.

Protect Our Defenders and the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center filed a lawsuit with a Connecticut federal court on Wednesday against the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security "to release records related to gender disparities within the military justice system and the military record correction boards' handling of cases involving sexual assault and harassment."

The groups have filed multiple Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests with the various military services and the U.S. Coast Guard for information pertaining to sexual assault and the military justice system, but they argue the services' responses to those requests are often "insufficient" or incomplete.

"The military has resisted efforts to end the epidemic of sexual assault and retaliation within its ranks, despite years of Congressional attention and reform," Col. Don Christensen (USAF-Ret.), president of Protect Our Defenders, said in a press release. "Service members, Members of Congress, and the public deserve to know if the military unlawfully discriminates against female service members and survivors of sexual assault."

The records requested by Protect Our Defenders and the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center are separate from the sexual assault data released publicly by the Department of Defense, Christensen told ABC News. Read more...