Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

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.

Pentagon struggles with sex crimes by military recruiters 05/12/13 [Last modified: Sunday, May 12, 2013 11:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Washington Post.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Police: Uber driver's gun discharges during fight at Adventure Island in Tampa

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — An Uber driver's gun went off Sunday at Adventure Island during a fight between the driver and two passengers.

  2. Baker cautious on Pride politics

    Elections

    Rick and Joyce Baker strode down Central Avenue Sunday amid rainbow flags, corporate booths, and blaring music of the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Baker chats Sunday with people at the St. Pete Pride Festival. As mayor, Baker did not sign a Pride parade proclamation, but now he says he would.
  3. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.
  4. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

    Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who can be a free agent Saturday, counts the Lightning among his early suitors.
  5. Senate leaders try to appease members as support for health bill slips

    National

    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill, even as opposition continued to build outside Congress and two Republican senators questioned whether the bill would be approved this week.

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, is one of the five Republican senators who announced they cannot support the health care bill as drafted.