Combat and Rape Face Deployed U.S. Soldiers

New York Daily News

G.I. sex predator hunt Pentagon to investigate 10 serial-attack suspects BY CORKY SIEMASZKO
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER Stung byreports of serial rapists in the ranks, the Pentagon said yesterday it would investigate the soldiers identified by a watchdog group.

One of the 10 suspects is a Marine serving at Camp Pendleton, Calif., whom at least three women have accused of sexual assault, sources said.

“We’re looking and trying to determine who these predators are,” said Lt. Col. Joe Richard, a Pentagon spokesman.

Anita Sanchez of the Miles Foundation, a Connecticut-based nonprofit group that assists soldiers who have been sexually assaulted, said her organization forwarded the names of the suspected servicemen to their respective services.

Each has been accused by two or more soldiers who came to the Miles Foundation for help. Six are in the Army, two are in the Marines and one each is in the Navy and Air Force.

“We report it to the services, as opposed to the Pentagon, because the services have direct authority over those individuals,” Sanchez said. “There are protocols we go through.”

Sanchez said they also have gotten reports about a private security guard who allegedly assaulted several female soldiers. She declined to identify him, or to release the names of the accused servicemen.

The Daily News, however, learned that one of them is a Marine who got immunity last year to testify at the court-martial of one of his alleged victims. The Marine denied the charge.

Under pressure from Congress, the Defense Department recently introduced sweeping policy changes for handling sexual assaults of soldiers.

Sanchez said the foundation has received 307 reports of sexual assault from soldiers – mostly female – serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Bahrain. And many are reluctant to report rapes to their superiors.

In an interview tomorrow on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Lt. Jennifer Dyer of the New Jersey National Guard claims the Army treated her “like a criminal” after she reported being raped and was ordered to return to the base where her alleged attacker was stationed.

Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Pamela Hart said Dyer had the “opportunity to go to any base of her choosing” and that her accused rapist faces a court-martial.

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