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The Report of the Working Group Concerning the Deterrence of and Response to Incidents of Sexual Assault at the U.S. Air Force Academy

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On January 2, 2003, Dr. James G. Roche, the Secretary of the Air Force, received an e-mail directed initially to female cadets, which asserted that there was a significant sexual assault problem at the United States Air Force Academy that had been ignored by the Academys leadership. Upon receipt of the e-mail, Secretary Roche immediately directed the General Counsel of the Air Force to lead a high-level working group to review cadet complaints, and the policies, programs and practices of the Academy to deter and respond to incidents of sexual assault, with a view toward making recommendations as appropriate. Secretary Roche also tasked the Working Group to review cases of sexual assault that had been reported from January 1993 to December 2002. In conducting this review, the Working Group was to keep in mind both the goal of the Academy to develop leaders of character for tomorrow s Air Force, and ordinary Air Force processes. The Secretary subsequently directed that the Air Force Inspector General review individual cases and cadet complaints concerning the handling of any cases. That review is still pending. The Working Group1 received briefings, reviewed pertinent information, identified additional documents and information needed and dispatched a staff team to the Academy to gather facts and interview those with knowledge of the programs history and its practices over time. The Working Group also consulted various experts in the Air Force including those in the areas of victim psychology, sexual assault and statistics. Cadet victims were interviewed, including at least one associated with the January 2, 2003 e-mail. In order to allow for contact from cadet victims, the Working Group established telephone numbers and an e-mail address for present and former cadets to provide comments.

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  • Sociology and Law
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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