Nearly one in five female Air Force Academy cadets say they have been sexually assaulted in their time at the academy – acts that the school’s new commanding officer says are tarnishing the institution’s image.
The findings come from a Defense Department survey considered to be preliminary. A department official told the Associated Press the questionnaire administered this year showed that 109 of the 579 female cadets surveyed, or 18.8 percent, said they had been sexually assaulted in their time at the academy. Sexual assault was defined as anything from unwanted touching to rape.
In 89 percent of the cases, the alleged assailant was identified as another cadet.
“I’ve seen the numbers, and we have a problem,” Brig. Gen. Johnny Weida, commandant of Air Force Academy cadets, said Thursday following a stern address to 4,000 cadets at the academy near Colorado Springs.