Scandal Prompts Hagel To Order Rescreening Of Military Sexual Assault Responders
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered all military sexual assault responders and military recruiters be retrained, re-credentialed, and rescreened - his response to news that the Army is investigating a sergeant who was a sexual assault prevention and response coordinator at Fort Hood, Texas for sexual abuse.
The Army announced Tuesday it is investigating the sergeant for "pandering, abusive sexual contact, assault and maltreatment of subordinates."
The soldier had been assigned as an Equal Opportunity Advisor and Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program coordinator with one of the III Corps’ subordinate battalions when the allegations surfaced.
The news at Fort Hood comes a week after the Air Force announced the official in charge of its sexual assault prevention program was arrested for sexual battery. Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski, 41, allegedly groped a stranger in an Arlington, Virginia parking lot.
Pentagon press secretary George Little conveyed Hagel's dismay at these latest allegations:
“Sexual assault is a crime, and will be treated as such. The safety, integrity, and well-being of every service member and the success of our mission hang in the balance.
"Secretary Hagel is looking urgently at every course of action to stamp out this deplorable conduct and ensure that those individuals up and down the chain of command who tolerate or engage in this behavior are appropriately held accountable.”