DOD: Reports of sexual assault up at 3 academies

December 27, 2011 - 5:45 PM

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A report released by the Pentagon says the number of reported sexual assaults at the nation's three major military academies rose in the latest academic year from one year earlier.

The Defense Department's "Annual Report on Sexual Harassment and Violence at the Military Service Academies" covered the academic year 2010-2011. It found there were 65 reports of sexual assault involving cadets and midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Air Force Academy. That's up from 41 reports in the prior year.

The Pentagon can't conclusively identify reasons for the increases but said efforts to encourage more victims to report abuses could help explain the higher numbers.

Defense Secretary Leon Pentta issued a statement that authorities are bidding to "eliminate sexual assault" from military campuses.