Nov 7, 2013 12:58 AM by Samantha Ptashkin
TUCSON- The United States Air Force is committed to three core values: "Integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do".
But those values that are sometimes overshadowed by the military's sexual assault epidemic.
Now Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is joining other bases from across the country in trying to crack down on the problem.
A few months ago DM officials started posting sexual assault convictions online.
The site has a list of more than 100 cases from bases across the country. There are currently six cases that happened at DM. The public can view the offender's name, date of the offense, details of the offense, as well as the offender's trial results and sentencing.
Here is an example of the details from one case in February 2010. "While in Baltimore for one night returning from deployment to the AOR, a group of Airmen went out drinking to celebrate their return home. During the night, SrA Hall and a female got separated from the rest of the group. While separated, SrA Hall punched the female Airman in the face repeatedly and raped her."
SrA Hall was sentenced to confinement for 8 years, a dishonorable discharge, reduction in rank to E-1, and total forfeiture of all pay and allowances.
By making all of the information public, base officials hope it will deter others from making similar mistakes. "If I make that wrong choice in my life, I could end up being one of these people I read about on this website," Col. Kevin Blanchard says. "Someone who was punished under the UCMJ, served jail time, is a registered sex offender and lost their career."
In 2012 there were 19 reported cases of sexual assault at DM. So far in 2013 there have been 13 cases reported. Six of those cases came from military members who moved here after reporting the assault elsewhere.
Col. Blanchard hopes the initiative will help the number decline in years to come. But some say posting the cases goes a little too far. "It's fine when it's part of court records, but I think when you start advertising it, that's wrong," says one Tucsonan.
"Yes, it's going to be difficult for both the victim and the accused to have that information out in the public," Col. Blanchard says. "But it's important for us as an Air Force to get to zero."
For Fiscal Year 2012, the conviction rate was 57% for sexual assault offenses. Fiscal Year 2013 conviction rates are not available for publication at this time.
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