For instance, a Texas family complained about an Air Force recruiter harassing a teenage girl in 2010. The recruiter, Tech. Sgt. Jaime Rodriguez, was ultimately convicted of multiple sex crimes after the family of another teenage girl complained in 2011. But:
During the sentencing phase of his trial at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, both the girl and her mother testified but did not discuss their initial report because the prosecution wanted to keep the focus on Rodriguez’s actions — not the officer who heard their first warnings, according to the Pentagon source familiar with the case.Except, of course, that the first warnings came in 2010 or, quite likely, earlier and were ignored or covered up.
“My experience is that when allegations are ignored, it is by lower-level supervisors protecting a favored airman,” said the Defense Department official.
In a statement to POLITICO, an Air Force spokeswoman said the first warnings about Rodriguez’s misconduct came to the leaders of the Air Force Recruiting Service in November 2011 when he was “immediately removed from recruiting duty and an investigation began.”
If there was really zero tolerance of this kind of thing—both sexual assault and covering it up—at the highest levels of the military, if all those generals and admirals and colonels who show up at congressional hearings and swear up and down that this time they're really going to get serious, the rate of military sexual assault would be a fraction of what it now is, and the unrestricted reporting rate (which is required for an investigation and is very low; restricted reporting allows victims medical care and is much, much higher) would rise significantly.
Military leadership wants us to believe the problem is being taken seriously and will soon be under control. But it's clear that's not going to happen as long as the problem remains in the same hands. Congress needs to force serious change. That's force, not politely request.