Air Force seeks help in sex abuse probe

Oct. 16, 2012 at 3:28 PM

SAN ANTONIO, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force has appealed to airmen who trained at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, requesting information on any sexual misconduct at the base.

Hundreds of thousands of current and former airmen stationed at the busy base in the past 10 years received an email Tuesday, asking them to report any incidents of "sexual assaults, sexual misconduct or unprofessional relationships" that may have occurred, the military newspaper Stars and Stripes reported Tuesday.

Twenty instructors at the base have been investigated and at least 43 women who trained there between 2009 and 2011 reported sexual assaults or rapes by their male instructors.

Five instructors have been convicted in courts-martial since July, the newspaper reported.

"Please call and help us to eradicate sexual misconduct in the Air Force," the email from the Air Education and Training Command reads in part, adding that a telephone hotline is available for confidential information.

In the wake of the scandal the Department of Defense directed each military service branch to review training policies and procedures to eliminate sexual abuse in training, the newspaper said.

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