During field training in North Carolina, Cpl. A. Masa quickly became friends with one of his fellow Marines. But little did his friend know, he was sexually abusing his friend’s 3-year-old stepdaughter. Masa also decided to take sexually explicit photos of the little girl and his friend’s infant baby girl.
A year after the scandal was uncovered, a military judge convicted Masa of producing child pornography and sexual abuse of a child, according to the court documents detailing the case. What became of Masa? He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 years behind bars.
The above case is not all that unusual. According to data released from the Defense Department, there are hundreds of cases where children of military members are victims of sexual assault every year.
The data shows that the abusers themselves are usually male enlisted troops, followed by the children’s family members.
The latest figures shed light on sexual abuse against children as committed by service members. However, the scale of the problem is unclear due to the fact that the public doesn’t have full insight into the military’s legal proceedings.
Considering that there are more than 1 million military dependents, statistically the number of cases are relatively small. However, for a profession that holds itself to the highest standards of honor and conduct, the episodes are a cause for concern.
The Defense Department did not include the ages of the victims and their abusers, nor did it include the location of the incident or the branch of service that received the report. In a statement, the Defense Department said that it withheld that information to eliminate any possible re-victimization.
MORE INMATES IN MILITARY PRISON FOR CHILD SEX OFFENSES
In November, an Associated Press investigation found that more inmates in military prisons are there for child sex offenses than for any other crimes. But the public is in the dark about the full extent of these crimes due to what some believe is the military’s obscure justice system.
In response to the AP’s findings, three Democratic senators took action. They asked Defense Secretary Ash Carter to lift what is known as the military justice’s “cloak of secrecy,” which if successful, would make the records for sex crime trials easily accessible.
According to Kathy Robertson, the manager of the Family Advocacy Program, most of the cases involved the E-4 and E-6 ranks, but that’s because they are the greatest number of active-duty personnel and parents in the military, she said in an email.
Are you being accused of a sexually-motivated crime? If so, contact a nationwide military defense attorney from Crisp & Associates, LLC for a hard-hitting defense!