Academy Policy Change

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An Air Force Academy policy change designed to encourage woman to report sexual assaults without fear of being punished has been stopped.

Cadets reporting such assaults will no longer be granted amnesty from punishment for infractions such as underage drinking or being off campus without permission.

This week, a policy recommended to Congress by the Defense Department calls for commanders to delay disciplinary action for "collateral" misconduct until a sexual assault case is tried or otherwise resolved in another way.

Academy officials began granting amnesty in March 2003 after dozens of female cadets who came forward to say they were molested or raped by male cadets accused military commanders of ignoring them or punishing them for honor code violations.

Junior and senior cadets were briefed on the change Friday, while freshmen and sophomores will learn of the new policy next week.