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In-Depth Interview: Teresa Beasley Blows the Whistle on Sex Assault Coverup at Air Force Academy

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Sexual assault counselor Teresa Beasley faced retaliation and is being fired from Air Force Academy for doing her job, and refusing to manipulate rape reports.In her first national interview, Beasley recounts her 10 years at the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. She experienced a demotion and other retaliation after providing a confidential report on a male rape counselor who made sexual overtures to a female cadet who had reported an assault.  Beasley “went through channels” to report this incident with a promise of confidentiality, which was not honored.

Beasley also filed with the Pentagon Inspector General, reporting that the Academy was intentionally under reporting the number of sexual assaults in 2014-15, using a paperwork technicality to exclude more than a dozen cases.

The Academy went co-ed in 1979, and Beasley reports that resentment toward females is widely expressed, including the display of tennis balls by the class of ’79, who call themselves LCWB, for “last class with balls”. She tells us that the high testosterone environment (75% male) mixes with an evangelical Christian atmosphere that leads to denial of sexuality and the myth that all cadets are abstinent.

Despite the appointment of Gen. Michelle Alexander as the first female superintendent, and her claim that dealing with sexual assault is a top priority, Alexander has enabled or permitted retaliation against Beasley, who was escorted from her office without her personal property on June 30.

We also discuss the big picture: the widespread crisis of sexual harassment and assault in all branches of the military, and the policy struggle over investigation and prosecution of sex crimes.  On one side, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) wants to assign these cases outside the chain of command, and on the other, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) wants to maintain the failed status quo.

Take Action: here’s a link to the comment page at the Air Force Academy, please let them know your views on this outrage.  On the menu, select “community relations” as the destination of your remarks.