FORT LEONARD WOOD, MO. -- Two days after she joined her military police unit, the 19-year-old private found herself drunk, sick and locked in a barracks bathroom where she said a soldier in her unit sexually assaulted her.
Less than three months before, on Christmas Day 2009, the same soldier used similar tactics to assault a 20-year-old woman new to the 988th Military Police Company, prosecutors alleged in a court-martial last month.
Six years after the Pentagon committed to addressing sexual assault within the ranks, such cases remain a fixture in military courtrooms. Of 19 pending courts-martial at Fort Leonard Wood, eight involve sexual assaults by soldiers, mostly on other service members. In many cases, the circumstances are sadly familiar and often difficult to prosecute.