New rules addressing sexual assault among the children of U.S. service members fail to fix a flaw that on many military bases has let alleged juvenile abusers escape accountability.
Records obtained by The Associated Press underscore how rarely federal prosecutors press charges in child-on-child sex assault cases that the military investigates. As a result, even kids accused multiple times have avoided legal consequences such as court-ordered rehabilitation.
The issue is most pronounced on U.S. bases overseas, where at least 47,000 students attend Pentagon-run schools. Records show that those accused face consequences seldom worse than having to return to the U.S.
The Pentagon says it is reforming how it handles sex crimes among military kids. The Department of Justice, which so often declines to prosecute, says it is studying changes.