A lawsuit filed Friday on behalf of two women who say they were raped by classmates at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland is seeking the court's help in permanently changing attitudes about sexual assault at military learning institutions.
The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan said the institutions "systemically and repeatedly ignore rampant sexual harassment." Besides seeking lasting changes at the military institutions, the suit also seeks unspecified damages and the awarding of academic credit for the women who said they were forced to leave the institutions when the psychological effects of attacks left them too distressed to remain enrolled.
The lawsuit named as defendants the former superintendents of the schools, along with former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and the current secretaries of the Army and Navy.
The lawsuit said the defendants and military leaders repeatedly claim they have zero tolerance for sexual crimes even though the facts show otherwise.