House Armed Services Committee Announces Closed-Door Briefing On Lackland Sexual Abuse Scandal

July 25, 2012
CONTACT: Brian Purchia



Washington DC – The House Armed Services Committee has announced that they will hold a closed-door briefing about the sexual abuse scandal at Lackland Air Force Base next week with the Secretary of the Air Force. Nancy Parrish, President of Protect Our Defenders today issued the following statement.

“This is unacceptable. The widening scandal at Lackland demands a full congressional hearing and investigation — it is a matter of our national security. New details about Staff Sgt. Luis Walker, who was convicted of raping and sexually assaulting 10 trainees at Lackland highlights the military’s broken system of justice. The Air Force apparently received a report about Walker’s criminal behavior earlier than reported, but the chain of command ignored the complaint, resulting in more victims.

Every single day, Protect Our Defenders is receiving horrific new stories from our brave men and women in uniform that have been sexually assaulted, but have nowhere to turn. Our armed forces’ top brass hasn’t fixed the epidemic of rape and sexual assault in our military and it is very apparent it needs to be addressed legislatively. Hearings are part of this process.

The officer who would be the Air Force’s new Chief of Staff, Gen. Mark Welsh III told Congress last week, “what we have been doing is not working” to address the epidemic of sexual assault in the military.

Seventy-eight members of Congress have called on Rep. Buck McKeon to hold a hearing and more than 8,000 advocates have demanded it. We cannot let the Lackland scandal become yet another example of our government’s failure to fix the broken military justice system, as was the case of the Tailhook scandal in 1991 and Aberdeen in 1997.”

Paula Coughlin-Puopolo’s petition demanding Congress investigates the Lackland sexual assault scandal can be viewed here:

Contact info for Rep. Buck McKeon’s office for comment:
Alissa McCurley, 202-225-1956

About Protect Our Defenders: Protect Our Defenders is a human rights organization. We seek to honor, support and give voice to the brave women and men in uniform who have been sexually assaulted while serving their country, and re-victimized by the military adjudication system – a system that often blames the victim and fails to prosecute the perpetrator. Learn more about Protect Our Defenders at or on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at