Senator Asks Pentagon for Answers on Sex Abuse at Schools

DES MOINES, Iowa β€” U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst is asking the Defense and Justice Departments to explain how they handle student-on-student sexual assaults at K-12 schools the Pentagon runs on military bases worldwide.

The Iowa Republican wrote Defense Secretary James Mattis and Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday asking a dozen questions based on issues raised in an ongoing Associated Press investigation.

In stories published last week, the AP found that reports of student-on-student sexual assaults or rapes often languish, and that administrators do not accurately track them. The 71,000 students who the schools educate have fewer protections than public school kids if they are sexually attacked by a classmate on campus.

Ernst, who is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, joins colleagues who last week demanded answers and promised a public hearing.

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