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Military sexual assaults by the numbers

WASHINGTONAs senior military leaders and government officials grapple with how to reduce sexual assaults in the military, a Pentagon report provides details of the problem. The numbers may not add up in all cases due to rounding or smaller categories that were not included.

Key findings:

  • Overall, there were 3,374 reports of sexual assault during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.
  • Based on that number and anonymous surveys of service members, the Pentagon estimates that as many as 26,000 military members may have been sexually assaulted last year.

Breaking the numbers down:

  • Of the 3,374 reported sexual assaults, there were 3,604 victims, because there often is more than one victim or more than one crime in a report. Of those victims, nearly 3,000 were service members.
  • Nearly 800 cases involved victims who did not file complaints against their alleged attackers but simply sought help.

Victims in the 2,558 reports that triggered complaints were:

  • 88 percent women
  • 66 percent between 20 and 34 years old
  • Mostly low-ranking service members
  • More than 1,100 were in the Army, the largest military service; nearly 600 in the Navy; nearly 300 in the Air Force and 239 in the Marine Corps.
  • 573 were not members of the U.S. military.

The suspects:

  • 90 percent were male; 2 percent were female; others were unidentified.
  • 36 percent were between 20-24 years old; 30 percent were 25-34 years old. In two cases the suspect was 65 or older.
  • Most were in the lower to middle enlisted ranks.
  • More than 1,200 were Army; about 550 were Navy and more than 330 were either Air Force or Marine.

Alleged crime:

  • Rape, 27 percent; aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault 28 percent; aggravated or abusive sexual contact, 35 percent; nonconsensual sodomy, 6 percent
  • More than 2,100 cases involved a male suspect/female victim; in 194 cases both were male; in 23 cases it was a female suspect/male victim and in 26 cases they were both female
  • The alleged attack took place most often on a Saturday or Sunday, in the very late night or early morning hours.


  • 1,714 suspects' cases were resolved in the last fiscal year.
  • 880 faced sex crime charges; 240 faced charges for another offense, such as adultery or underage drinking.
  • In 509 cases commanders could not take action because there was insufficient evidence, the victim declined to participate or the statute of limitations had expired.
  • In 81 cases, commanders determined the charges were unfounded.
  • Of the 880 suspects facing sex crime charges, 594 were referred to court-martial. Of those, 302 went to trial, 238 were convicted and 64 were acquitted. Seventy were discharged or resigned; 88 had charges dismissed and 133 are still pending court action. The disposition of one case was not available.

The full report is available here:

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