- Soldiers were suspended at Fort Sill in Oklahoma following a report of sexual assaults.
- The Intercept reported a female soldier accused 22 troops of being involved in the assaults.
- Reports of sexual assault in the military have risen sharply in the past two years.
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After a report of sexual assaults, a “cadre” of soldiers at Fort Sill in Oklahoma have been suspended while an investigation is carried out, the commanding general of the Army base said.
A female soldier at the base reported on March 27 that “she was the victim of sexual assault involving Fort Sill cadre members,” Major General Ken Kamper said in a statement Thursday. He said the allegations were immediately reported to law enforcement and investigators began conducting interviews.
“This soldier, who came forward with allegations of sexual assault, is absolutely safe,” Kamper said. “We’re proud of the courage she displayed in coming forward with these allegations.
The statement did not say how many soldiers were accused or suspended, but a military official told The Intercept allegations were made against 22 soldiers and include multiple incidents of assault.
The official also told The Intercept investigators were looking into a video of one of the incidents that was being passed around the base, but a US Army spokesperson denied that investigators had such a video.
The group implicated in the allegations was “suspended from their normal duties” and “removed from any trainee environment,” Kamper said. They typically were involved in training new troops. The woman who came forward was a trainee.
Sexual assault in the military is an ongoing issue, with assaults rising sharply in the past two years, Insider’s Sophia Ankel reported.
As one of his first acts after being confirmed in January, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered a review of how the department handles reports of sexual assault.
The issue was given additional attention last year after US Army soldier Vanessa Guillen was murdered at her base in Fort Hood, Texas. Guillen’s family members said she had told them she experienced sexual harassment, but was too afraid to report it.
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