Friday, January 19, 2018
News Roundup

Pentagon struggles with sex crimes by military recruiters

WASHINGTON — Military recruiters across the country have been caught in a string of sex-crime scandals over the past year, exposing another long-standing problem for the Defense Department as it struggles with a crisis of sexual assault in the ranks.

In Alaska, law enforcement officials are fuming after a military jury this month convicted a Marine Corps recruiter of first-degree sexual assault in the rape of a 23-year-old female civilian, but did not sentence him to prison. In Texas, an Air Force recruiter will go on trial next month on charges of rape, forcible sodomy and other crimes involving 18 young women he tried to enlist over a three-year period. Air Force officials have described the case as perhaps the worst involving one of its recruiters.

In Maryland, Army officials are still puzzling over a murder-suicide in April, when a staff sergeant, Adam Arndt, killed himself after he fatally shot Michelle Miller, a 17-year-old Germantown, Md., girl whom he had been recruiting for the Army Reserves. Officials suspect the two were romantically involved, something expressly forbidden by military rules.

Leaders of the armed services said they place enormous emphasis on ethical behavior and professional conduct when selecting and training recruiters, who are a fixture in high schools everywhere and critical to the nation's all-volunteer military. Only a tiny percentage of recruiters engage in sexual misconduct, officials said, and there is no tolerance for those who do.

The extent of the problem is hard to ascertain because the Defense Department does not keep figures on recruiters accused of sex crimes. The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps track incidents separately, but there is no uniform standard, which makes comparisons difficult.

In most cases, the victims are teenagers or young adults who have expressed an interest in a military career but have not yet enlisted. As a result, they are excluded from Pentagon surveys that show an alarming rise in the number of active-duty military personnel who say they have been sexually assaulted.

In several cases over the past year, recruiters have been charged or convicted of having sex with underage girls whom they were trying to recruit, despite strict rules against fraternization or even spending time alone with high-school-age youths.

Comments
Top 5 at noon: First 97 days of a foster mom and the little girl in her care; first look at Tampa Bay’s next, best hope for a mass transit system; and more

Top 5 at noon: First 97 days of a foster mom and the little girl in her care; first look at Tampa Bay’s next, best hope for a mass transit system; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:THE FIRST 97 DAYS OF A FOSTER MOM AND THE LITTLE GIRL IN HER CAREShannon Colavecchio, a former Tampa Bay Times reporter now living in Tallahassee, decided in the summer of 2016 to begin the p...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Hillsborough, Pasco schools warn parents about flu activity, dangers

Hillsborough, Pasco schools warn parents about flu activity, dangers

The Florida Department of Health is reporting a sharp increase in flu activity in the last several weeks, prompting area schools to send out letter warning parents about the virus. At least two districts, however, say that flu activity in their schoo...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Forecast: After a chilly morning, normal weather slowly returning to Tampa Bay

Forecast: After a chilly morning, normal weather slowly returning to Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay can finally bid farewell to this week’s stretch of brutally cold conditions.10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay area It’s a slow return to normal, as some residents still woke up to frost and sub-freezing temperatures, ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Amazon boosts monthly Prime membership fees by 20 percent

Amazon boosts monthly Prime membership fees by 20 percent

NEW YORK — Amazon is raising the price of its Prime membership monthly plan by nearly 20 percent. The fee of $99 for an annual membership will not change, the company said Friday. The online retailer had added the monthly payment option about two yea...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bus rapid transit: First look at Tampa Bay’s next, best hope

Bus rapid transit: First look at Tampa Bay’s next, best hope

ST. PETERSBURG — The public got its first glimpse Friday morning of a new transit system that could one day connect Wesley Chapel to Tampa to St. Petersburg.It’s called bus rapid transit, or BRT. Representatives from Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rick and Tom podcast: Super Bowl berths on the line

Rick and Tom podcast: Super Bowl berths on the line

In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones look back at last week’s playoff games to break down the upcoming conference championship games.Rick and Tom agree that New England should roll over Jacksonville but disagree on Minnesota-Philadelphi...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Princess Pigtails' diary: the first 97 days of a foster mom and the little girl in her care

Princess Pigtails' diary: the first 97 days of a foster mom and the little girl in her care

Editor’s note: Shannon Colavecchio, a former Tampa Bay Times reporter now living in Tallahassee, decided in the summer of 2016 to begin the process of becoming a foster parent. Having been raised by her grandparents after her biological mother ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tampa Bay Rays 2018 spring training schedule

Tampa Bay Rays 2018 spring training schedule

Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Rd., Port Charlotte, 33948Get tickets here: (941) 206-4487Pitchers report: Feb. 13. Squad reports: Feb. 19TEAM SCHEDULE(games at 1:05 unless noted)(ss - split squad)Feb 23 at Orioles (ss) (Sarasota)Feb 23 PIRATE...
Updated: 3 hours ago
On Jan. 18, 2018: Record cold in Tampa Bay. On Jan. 19, 1977: Snow.

On Jan. 18, 2018: Record cold in Tampa Bay. On Jan. 19, 1977: Snow.

One day. Just one day on a calendar separates an epic cold snap from what was arguably the most historic January weather event in Tampa Bay history.On Thursday, the region dealt with a brutal arctic blast produced record low temperatures that caused ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Five things Tampa Bay needs to know about bus rapid transit

Five things Tampa Bay needs to know about bus rapid transit

ST. PETERSBURG — Transportation planners are set to unveil a new transit vision for Tampa Bay leaders on Friday morning: Bus rapid transit. Also known as BRT, it has arisen as the leading option in an ongoing study to find the best regional tr...
Updated: 4 hours ago