STATEMENT: Ft. Lee responds to rape allegations

FORT LEE, VA (WWBT) - Fort Lee released the following statement acknowledging an alleged assault reported at the base in October, 2014.

Fort Lee officials are aware of an alleged sexual assault that was reported to have occurred in on-post lodging involving a service member (student) and a civilian (alleged victim) on October 1, 2014. We also understand the alleged perpetrator in the referenced case is deceased, and due to these circumstances, this case may never be afforded the opportunity to be fully adjudicated through the military court martial process.

First and foremost, our immediate response is to address a victim's needs by ensuring they receive the care and support they need, in strictest confidentiality. We take their rights and treatment very seriously and will not comment on any matters that might violate this confidentiality.

Over recent years, the Army has enacted numerous initiatives as part of the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program (SHARP), to include the hiring of sexual assault response coordinators, trained victim advocates, professional counseling, special victim attorneys, special victim prosecutors, and special provisions that allow victims to waive their participation in grand jury equivalent processes - to name a few. Soldiers and other employees of the U.S. Army are eligible to receive these services.

However, civilians with no association with the Army are not eligible to receive these military services. In the event that the alleged victim is a civilian with no affiliation with the Army, we make every effort to refer the individual to local social service and medical providers. We remain genuinely concerned for the well-being of any victim of sexual assault and want to make sure he/she is connecting with appropriate support and services.

The Army maintains a 'zero-tolerance' for sexual assault. Army regulations require that allegations of this nature be immediately reported to CID, the Army's premiere investigative organization headquartered outside Washington, D.C., for thorough investigation. We are committed to a fair and impartial process that holds perpetrators accountable and exonerates the innocent.

Again, we want to reiterate that the U.S. Army is committed to eradicating sexual assault in the Army and we take every case seriously.

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