Congresswoman Chellie Pingree issued the following statement in response toreports that the officer in charge of the Air Force's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response efforts was arrested and himself charged with sexual assault. Also today, the Pentagon released a new report showing that claims of sexual assault in the military increased significantly from 19,000 two years ago to 26,000 last year.
"Any sexual assault in the military is absolutely unacceptable and it's even more outrageous if the officer in charge of sexual assault prevention in the Air Force turns out to be guilty.
"This is only the latest case that raises serious questions about the military's ability to prosecuting these cases. I'm glad to see the local prosecutor in this case in Virginia has refused the Air Forces' request to turn the case over to them--I think a lot of people would be suspicious of theirability to prosecute this case.
"The numbers from the report show that the problem of sexual assault in the military is not getting better and if the allegations surrounding the arrest of Lt. Colonel Krusinski are true, it doesn't seem like even top officials in the military are getting the message."