FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- A decade after the Pentagon began confronting rape in the ranks, the U.S. military frequently fails to provide justice to the children of service members when they are sexually assaulted by other kids on base.
An Associated Press investigation finds that sex assault cases occurring where military kids live and learn often die on the desks of prosecutors. Criminal investigators shelved an unknown number of reports.
Instead of punishment or rehabilitation, offenders may be shuffled into the civilian world.
The Pentagon doesn't know the extent of the problem. In North Carolina, records the military acknowledge are incomplete document at least 39 sex assaults among children or teens on bases since 2007. Camp Lejeune had the most reports with 22. Fort Bragg was second at 12.
The AP documented nearly 600 sex assault cases among military kids on base since 2007 in the U.S. and abroad.
Officials said they take seriously "any incident impacting the well-being'' of service members or families and promised to take "appropriate actions."