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Service Members Sue Defense Secretary Over Alleged Military Rapes

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Image from a quicklink Nineteen former and current U.S. military service members sued Leon Panetta and former secretaries of defense Friday alleging civil-rights violations--stemming from sexual assault accusations they say were not taken seriously by the military. The case is the fifth of its kind brought by the Washington, D.C., attorney Susan L. Burke. Like the previous cases, all of which are pending in the district or circuit courts, it alleges that defendants knew the military was violating the constitutional rights of men and women who reported rape and sexual assaults, that they presided over dysfunctional systems in which a tiny fraction of sexual assault charges are investigated, and that they repeatedly refused to do anything to fix the problem.

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