Earlier this week, a federal judge ruled that the collective response from the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to Freedom of Information Act requests regarding cases of sexual assault in the military has not been sufficient to date.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, there are an estimated 19,000 cases of sexual assault in the armed forces each year, representing one of the most significant lingering flaws in the military justice system.
"It's extremely troubling that the government is dragging its feet in the fight to end sexual assault and harassment in our military," ACLU Women's Rights Project staff attorney Sandra Park explained. "It is essential that the truth about military sexual violence is exposed so we can move forward to better support victims and prevent incidents in the future."
The court's latest ruling orders the agencies to address a series of unfulfilled FOIA requests dating back to 2010 and reproduce the documents in question by May 15. According to the Marine Corps Times, this controversy may attract additional attention following Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's announcement just a few months ago that Pentagon would be launching several new initiatives aimed at curbing sexual misconduct in the military.