Navy Steps Up Sexual Assault Investigations

Ray Mabus

SAN DIEGO -- The Department of the Navy will hire 50 more people for its investigative arm to reduce the time it takes to investigate sexual assaults, and the Navy and Marine Corps will start publishing the results of their courts-martial online, the Navy announced Thursday.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has approved nearly $10 million for the additional Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents and crime scene personnel. The new NCIS staff will work in specialized teams trained to handle sexual assault cases, according to a Navy press release.

A Department of Defense Inspector General review of 2010 sexual assault complaints across the services found that 11 percent of the cases had "significant deficiencies," according to a report released Monday. Of the 157 NCIS cases reviewed in the study, 20 had no deficiencies and 111 had minor deficiencies, according to the report. Twenty-six cases, more than 16 percent, had significant deficiencies in areas such as evidence collection, crime scene examinations and witness interviews, the report said.

"We must do all we can to protect our people from those who would wish do them harm, especially if they reside within our own ranks," Mabus said. "This department is committed to using all available resources to prevent this crime, aggressively investigate allegations and prosecute as appropriate. We will not hide from this challenge -- we will be active, open and transparent."

That transparency includes a directive from Mabus that the Navy and Marine Corps begin publishing the results of all special and general courts-martial, including sexual assault cases, by July 25. The services will publish the results on their websites, and

The first of the results will include courts-martial that were completed from January through June of this year, the Navy said.

Show Full Article

Related Topics