Military Puts Rape Accusers on Trial

The military is coming under fire not only for the number of sexual assaults—26,000 service members reported them last year—but also for the handling of allegations, the unsupportive and combative nature of which critics say, lead less women to come forward after an assault. At a current Naval hearing for three former Naval Academy football players charged with rape, a woman was grilled for four days on her medical history, dance moves and even underwear, leading her to plead for a day break from the relentless questioning. A defense attorney said she was faking her exhaustion. “What was she going to be doing anyway?” he asked. “Something more strenuous than sitting in a chair? We don’t concede there’s been any stress involved.” Experts say the military courts allow questioning of rape victims that would not be permitted in civilian court.