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Pentagon misled lawmakers on military sexual assault cases

U.S. Department of Defense

An Associated Press investigation found the Pentagon misled Congress with inaccurate information about sexual assault cases that cast civilian law enforcement officials as less willing than military commanders to punish sex offenders.

Internal government records show local district attorneys and police forces failed to act against U.S. service members who were subsequently prosecuted in military courts for sex crimes.

But AP found in a number of cases that steps taken by civilian authorities were described incorrectly or ignored.

Military representatives defended the accuracy of the information.

The records were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the advocacy group Protect Our Defenders.

The organization provided the documents exclusively to AP and is scheduled Monday to release a report about the cases that is critical of the Pentagon.

Editor's note: Read a longer version of this Associated Press story here.

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