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You are here News Military Decades behind: Sexual assault unchecked as Defense Department ducks reform

Decades behind: Sexual assault unchecked as Defense Department ducks reform

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Secual assaults in the militaryIn 2010, the parents of a Texas high school student told an Air Force officer they were concerned a recruiter was sending their daughter inappropriate text messages, showing up at her work and spreading rumors.

The officer listened to the complaint, but it went no further — a common practice for popular soldiers, according to a senior Defense Department official with knowledge of the case.

A year later, the parent of another teenage girl found suggestive photos in her text messages from the same recruiter, Tech. Sgt. Jaime Rodriguez.

This time investigators dug in, eventually speaking with more than a dozen young women, some who met Rodriguez after the first complaint, who said his behavior ranged from unwanted advances to rape. Rodriguez began serving a 27-year military prison sentence in June on a slew of sex crimes, the worst of which was aggravated sexual assault.

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