False reports and false claims

1 May 2015 saw the release of a number of reports and memorandums regarding military sexual assault.  Some initial takeaways (which in my view certain people are either deliberately ignoring or misreporting).

No POD, the conviction rate is not 5%– the conviction rate is 67% for penetrative offenses, and 84% for non-penetrative (conctact) offenses.

If POD is claiming only a 5% conviction rate, then they are presuming guilt in each allegation made, regardless of the truth of the claim and the amount of evidence available.

No POD, all of the reported conduct is NOT rape.  The RAND survey covered both penetrative and non-penetrative contact offenses.  (And, of course, an unwanted French kiss meets the definition of a penetrative offense.)

No POD, the potential false reporting rate is 24% in the military, which is possibly higher or the same with the civilian rate.

  • The report addresses a range of misconduct-it does NOT report on rape.
  • Out of the 6,131 reports of sexual assault in FY 2014, there were 4,768 Service Member victims who made a report for an incident that occurred during military Service.
  • According to the 2014 RAND Military Workplace Study, the percentage of active duty women who experienced unwanted sexual contact in the past year declined from an estimated 6.1% in 2012 to an estimated 4.3% in 2014, a statistically significant decrease.11 For active duty men, the estimated prevalence rate of unwanted sexual contact trended downwards from 1.2% in 2012 to 0.9% in 2014.12, 13, 14 Based on these prevalence rates, an estimated 18,900 Service members experienced unwanted sexual contact in 2014, down from the 26,000 Service member victims estimated in 2012.

Here is the relevant military justice data from the 2014 report.

  • The following information is for those subjects’ cases whose investigations were complete and case disposition results were reported in FY 2014. In FY 2014, 2,625 subjects investigated for sexual assault were primarily under the legal authority of DoD. However, as with the civilian justice system, evidentiary issues may have prevented disciplinary action from being taken against some subjects. In addition, commanders declined to take action on some subjects after a legal review of the matter indicated that the allegations against the accused were unfounded, meaning they were determined to be false or baseless. Command action was not possible in 24% of the cases considered for action by military commanders (Figure S) in FY 2014.
  • For the remaining 76% of cases considered for command action, commanders had sufficient evidence and legal authority to support some form of disciplinary action for a sexual assault offense or other misconduct. Figure S displays command action taken from FY 2009 to FY 2014 and Figure T displays command action in FY 2014 for penetrating versus sexual contact crimes. Since FY 2007, the percentage of subjects who had charges preferred to court-martial has steadily increased and the percentage of subjects for whom command action was not possible has steadily declined.
  • Not all cases preferred to court-martial proceed to trial. In certain circumstances, DoD may approve a resignation or discharge in lieu of court-martial (RILO/DILO). Furthermore, Article 32 (pre-trial) hearings can result in a recommendation to dismiss all or some of the charges. Commanders may use evidence gathered during sexual assault investigations and evidence heard at an Article 32 hearing to impose a nonjudicial punishment (NJP) against subjects. As seen in Figure U, the majority of cases preferred to court-martial, for both penetrating and sexual contact offenses, proceeded to trial.














Click to access FY14_Annual_Report_SecDef_Memo_Initiatives.pdf



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