Ft. Leonard Wood Embroiled In Child Sex Scandal

Brett Blume
May 07, 2018 - 9:14 am

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (AP) -  Army officials are now acknowledging they've investigated reports of child-on-child sexual assaults at Fort Leonard Wood.

The disclosure comes amid an Associated Press investigation that found many sexual assault reports among children at U.S. military bases where service member families live have languished in a dead zone of justice, in which victims and offenders go without help.

New documents released to AP show Army criminal investigators opened at least six cases at Leonard Wood over a recent 10-year period. They concluded all were true.

Initially, Army's Criminal Investigation Command released a list of 223 sexual assaults among juveniles that showed none at the central Missouri base.

After reporters challenged the list's accuracy, the agency added 86 cases. 

The Army still has not disclosed the number of pending sexual assault investigations it has involving kids on base.

The lack of reliable tracking concerns Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat and former prosecutor who also sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee. In an April 27 letter to Army Secretary Mark Esper, she wrote of the "strong possibility" that the military was not coordinating well with civilian authorities.

"I am sure you would agree that close coordination between the Army and local or federal law enforcement is critical to ensuring all cases of sexual assault on Army installations are addressed appropriately," McCaskill wrote.