8 Women Allege Rape, Harassment in Military Suit

WASHINGTON (AP) – Eight current and former members of the U.S. military allege in a new federal lawsuit that they were raped, assaulted or harassed and suffered retaliation when they reported it. The lawsuit is being filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington. It accuses the military of having a “high tolerance for sexual predators in their ranks” and of discouraging victims of sexual assault from coming forward. Seven women allege that a comrade raped or tried to sexually assault them. The eighth says she was harassed and threatened while deployed overseas. A Defense Department spokeswoman, Cynthia Smith, says she can’t discuss pending litigation. But she says the military doesn’t tolerate sexual assault and has taken several recent steps, including increasing funding for specialized training for investigators, to combat the problem.

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