(KMOV) – Top Pentagon officials say they are taking sexual assault allegations seriously.
Senator Claire McCaskill says the US military has a serious problem on its hands. In a hearing of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, McCaskill asked what is being done to improve the response to sexual assaults.
This comes days after a federal lawsuit was filed by 16 service members, most of them women.
In one of the cases, a service member at Fort Leonard Wood alleges that a chaplain told her that it was “God’s will for her to be raped” by a serviceman while she was stationed in Afghanistan.
McCaskill said service members need to be assured that their claims will be taken seriously.
The US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says the military has a zero tolerance policy for sexual assault. The commanding general of Fort Leonard Wood said his post takes allegations seriously, and that he’s brought in a special prosecutor to handle sexual assault cases.