Group seeks federal investigation at Fort Leonard Wood

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ST. LOUIS (AP) _ A victims rights group is seeking a federal investigation into whether officials at Fort Leonard Wood discouraged trainees from reporting allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

The group, Protect Our Defenders, said Thursday it was reacting to testimony this week during a court martial of a former drill sergeant for forcing trainees to perform sexual acts. Two soldiers testified during the trial that trainees were told their class wouldn’t graduate if they reported sexual misconduct claims.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports  Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith, post commander, hasn’t made a public statement about te testimony.

Missouri’s two senators, Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt, said in statements Thursday that they are working to determine the accuracy of the testimony and give the military the means to deal with sexual misconduct.

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