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AFA Investigation

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has offered his thoughts on the allegations of sexual misconduct at the Air Force Academy. He says that any time there are such allegations it's "enormously disappointing" to anyone connected with the Defense Department.

Still, Rumsfeld expressed confidence in the response of Air Force Chief of Staff John Jumper and Air Force Secretary James Roche. Rumsfeld says the two are dealing with the allegations aggressively and are doing a good job.

The Air Force says it has investigated more than 50 reports of sexual assault since the academy began admitting women in 1976. Many alleged victims have said they were afraid to report the attacks because they feared they would be reprimanded.

Another team of investigators will arrive at the academy in Colorado Springs later this week to look at individual cases.

Meantime, a spokesman for the Air Force says one of the changes being considered at the Air Force Academy would be to group female cadets together in the dormitories. Currently male and female cadets live side-by-side in the dorms.

But Air Force spokesman Chet Curtis says changing the living arrangments would be one possible response to reports of a series
of sexual assaults on the Academy grounds.

Air Force officials also are considering training nurses and investigators with the Office of Special Investigations to deal
specifically with sexual assaults -- and providing sexual assault
victims with individual counselors to track the handling of
complaints.


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