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Navy reports detail 135 court martials for first half of 2013

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Posted at 7:22 PM, Jul 24, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-24 19:22:01-04

A new Navy report says there had been 135 courts-martial involving sailors around the world in the first six months of 2013 and about 36% involved a sex-related charge.

A Navy Lt. Commander in Washington D.C. tried for aggravated sexual assault was only found guilty of lesser crimes. His punishment? Two months in the brig, two years of partial loss of pay, and a letter of reprimand.

Here in Norfolk, another Lt. Commander was tried for wrongful sexual contact but in this case, he was found guilty, dismissed from the service and given one year in the brig.

These two cases are just a sampling of the 135 court martials that took place.

33 of them happened in Norfolk.

The numbers were released this week by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, to demonstrate greater transparency in the fight against sexual assault.

Of those 135 court martials, 50 dealt with sexual crimes.

16 of those cases involved sexual acts against children or child pornography, where the majority of accused were found guilty.

But when you look at adult on adult sexual assaults, only 24 cases Navy-wide made it to court martial.

And of those, only nine were found guilty.

The numbers are low considering the Navy had 773 reported sexual assaults last year.

With thousands more unreported, the statistics would frighten any would-be victim thinking about coming forward.

The Navy is the first branch of service to roll out new initiatives to fight sexual assault this year, such as limiting alcohol sales on bases, and sending out civilian sexual assault counselors with ships when they deploy.

But will it be enough? The Navy plans on releasing all court martial results from now on, hoping the numbers will show it.