Air Force Sexual Assault Scandal Even Worse Than We Thought

The horribly depressing, kind of gigantic Lackland Air Force base rape/sexual assault scandal (is the phrase "rape scandal" redundant? Can't get more scandalous than rape.) uncovered in recent months has headed to a military court, and details of the case seem to point to a widespread culture of male superiors taking sexual advantage of female recruits. One male defendant accused of sexually assaulting 10 women claims that all of the sex he was having was consensual; the woman he was having sex with claim it was rape. So, best case scenario, Lackland is a fuckfest. Worst case: a rapefest.

Earlier this year, investigators uncovered evidence that there was something rotten in Denmark; in all, 12 of Lackland's 475 instructors had been accused of sexual impropriety with 31 different female recruits. Nine of the men accused of sexual impropriety were in the same squadron. You don't have to be a mathemagician to understand that because 31 is bigger than 12, some of the instructors must have been repeat offenders. And you don't have to be a woman to think: ew.

The biggest repeat offender in the case is Staff Sgt. Luis Walker, who prosecutors claim is a serial predator who routinely targeted recruits — among the 28 counts leveled against him, 1 rape, allegations of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct with 9 other women, 4 of whom he had sex with and 5 of whom he allegedly coerced into performing sexual favors for him by threatening their careers. His defense claims he was just a man looking for love in all the wrong vaginas, since the 2009 alleged rape wasn't reported to Air Force investigators until last year. As for the other stuff, Walker's defense basically boils down to: uh, bitches lie about rape all the time, right? It's fun for women! Like shoe shopping and baby showers.

If convicted, Sgt. Walker could face life in prison and a dishonorable discharge from the military. One of his colleagues, Staff Sgt. Peter Vega-Maldonado plea bargained down to a 90-day confinement after admitting to having sex with one female recruit. Afterward, he admitted he'd been involved with 9 other female recruits.

So far, 80 Congressmen have called for an investigation into Lackland, but Congressional Republicans have balked, calling the move "congressional theater" and claiming that it would be more prudent to wait until the Air Force finishes its own investigation. Yes, best to let a group rotten with scandal regulate itself. It worked so well for the American financial system.

[CBS]