Air Force Academy Superintendent Vows to Eliminate Sexual Violence Culture
U.S. Senators call for new investigation into case.
The Air Force Academy’s new superintendent is admitting there has been a culture of sexual violence by football players and other cadet athletes at the school. West Point is also dealing with an investigation of sexual assaults of its own.
“We want to acknowledge it, we own it and we want to move on. We want to do better,” says Lt. General Michelle Johnson, the superintendent of the Air Force, reports ABC News. “It is profoundly disappointing, especially at our institution.”
An investigation at the Air Force Academy led to the court-martials of two football players and dismissals or resignations of 15 other cadets. The Colorado Springs Gazette first investigated the charges.
At the Air Force Academy, Cadet Eric Thomas worked as an undercover agent, secretly giving information to the Air Force Office of Special Investigation agents about alleged sexual assaults, crimes and misconduct by his fellow cadets.
He was dismissed from the team for misbehavior, which he claims came from him being on the uncover assignments, where he left campus without approval to attend parties with other cadets. An Air Force Inspector General’s investigation, however, says the demerits weren’t related to his undercover work.
Thomas’ dismissal is prompting Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) and Sen, John Thunel (D-South Dakota), to call for a new investigation into the Air Force’s handling of the case.
The Army is also facing charges of using women and liquor to recruit top athletes to West Point.
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