Various news organizations are reporting on new data about reports of sexual assault in the DoD. For example, in this New York Times story (link fixed):

There were 3,553 sexual assault complaints reported to the Defense Department in the first three quarters of the fiscal year, from October 2012 through June, a nearly 50 percent increase over the same period a year earlier. Defense Department officials said the numbers had continued to rise.

The numbers included sexual assaults by civilians on service members and by service members on civilians. Sexual assault was defined in the report as rape, sodomy and other unwanted sexual contact, including touching of private body parts. It did not include sexual harassment, which is handled by another office in the military.

I haven’t been able to identify the specific report that is quoted.

ABC News reports that the sexual assault trials of the two USNA midshipmen have been set for January and February of next year.

Stars and Stripes has this Associated Press report on the case of Army Staff Sergeant Bales, who pleaded guilty to killing 16 Afghan civilians and was sentenced to confinement for life without the possibility of parole:

Lt. Col. Jay Morse, the lead prosecutor, told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday that the case faced significant hurdles, from limited access to the crime scene to a drawdown of American troops from Afghanistan, which made a quick resolution ideal.

Still, to a prosecutor whose goal was to try to satisfy Bales’ victims, their reaction was difficult, but understandable.

“I don’t think they were completely satisfied,” Morse said. “I don’t know that they would have been completely satisfied without literally seeing Sgt. Bales executed.”

And this Air Force news story details the dramatic reenactment of a sexual assault court-martial at Spandgahlem Air Base in Germany:

After standing for the arrival of the judge, here played by Staff Sgt. Debraca Williams, 52nd Fighter Wing Judge Advocate civil law paralegal from Lawton, Okla., the Airmen watched as the prosecution and defense counsel presented their arguments over the case, based on an actual case.

In the interest of conserving manpower while maintaining the proceeding’s judicial ambiance, the legal staff ran a video dramatization of a female Airman, role-playing as the victim, being cross-examined by both sides all while in front of the alleged perpetrator.

Some attendees displayed visual discomfort as the victim recollected the events of the night in question in unfiltered realism, using words like “ejaculation” and describing how unclean she felt even after showering.

To counter, the defense pressed the victim on the circumstances leading up to and after the event. The excessive consumption of alcohol and any undefined shades between a romantic relationship and being “just friends” generated quiet discussion among the spectators.

The story does not reveal the “verdict.”

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