US Army adding lawyers to prosecute sex crimes

The US Army said Monday it is expanding its attention to sexual abuse cases by adding prosecutors, rearranging its criminal investigative unit and stepping up training to change behavior. The moves, which will include sexual assault prevention training from commanders on down through the ranks, are aimed at stemming crimes that Army Secretary Pete Geren called "repugnant to the core values" of the military service. "We see the crime of sexual assault as a crime that goes beyond just the criminal act," Geren told reporters at the Defense Department. "We see it as a crime that destroys unit cohesion." Last year, an estimated 15 percent of about 9,000 Army investigations involved sexual assault allegations, said Brig. Gen. Rodney Johnson. However, only 137 cases went to trial, with many cases involving inappropriate comments or other offenses that were punished by internal disciplinary action instead of criminal charges.