US military investigated 6,172 cases of sexual assault last year

USS The Sullivans sails from Naval Station Mayport in advance of Hurricane Irma.
USS The Sullivans sails from Naval Station Mayport in advance of Hurricane Irma.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Thousands of sexual assaults were reported at American military bases in each of the past four years, according to data released Thursday by the Pentagon.

The Army had the most reports, with more than 2,000 cases investigated worldwide in each of the past two years. More than 1,200 instances of sexual assault were reported at Navy bases in both 2014 and 2015.

Naval Station Norfolk, the Navy's largest base, had 270 reported sexual assaults last year -- 21 percent of those from all Navy bases last year and the most of any U.S. military installation.

The Army's Fort Hood in Texas, Joint Base San Antonio in Texas, Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, Naval Base San Diego and the Marine Corps' Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and Camp Pendleton in California have regularly received the highest tally of sexual assault reports in recent years.

Among Jacksonville's Navy facilities, NAS Jacksonville had the most reported assaults, with 39 last year -- the highest number in the four years of data released. The 30 reported assaults at Mayport in 2016 was lower than 2015, but higher than 2013 or 2014. Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay had 12 reports last year, tied with the year before and lower than 2013 or 2014.

In releasing the data for the first time, the Pentagon emphasized that numbers do not necessarily indicate that the reported sexual assaults occurred at those facilities or that a crime was actually committed. For example, sexual assaults that occur during an overseas deployment are often only reported once service members return to their home installations, the Pentagon's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office wrote in a report accompanying the data.

The report is released as a growing number of prominent men have faced allegations ranging from sexual misconduct to rape since Donald Trump's presidential campaign, when multiple women accused him of past sexual improprieties. After Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein resigned last month, other men in entertainment, media, politics and beyond have been accused as well.

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