Military seeks to limit Congress on fixing child sex assault

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. military officials want to limit congressional efforts to address child-on-child sexual assaults on bases, even as new data show the problem is larger than previously acknowledged.

Members of Congress demanded answers after an Associated Press investigation revealed that many reports of sexual violence among military kids on installations languish, leaving both victim and offender without help.

With lawmakers drafting legislative fixes, military officials have offered a clear message during congressional briefings: We can handle this.

The pushback against legislative efforts comes as the Army acknowledged that it had investigated 86 more sex assault reports than initially disclosed to AP, most of them confirmed as crimes.

After adding those new cases, AP’s count of juvenile-on-juvenile sexual assault reports on bases reached nearly 700 over a recent 10-year period.