No simple explanation in AF Academy sex crime data

January 22, 2012 - 1:05 PM

DENVER (AP) — Nine years after a sexual assault scandal shook the Air Force Academy, the Defense Department announced a spike in newly reported assaults at the school.

But experts and school officials say it's not clear if that means sex crimes are on the rise. It could also reflect the academy's years long efforts to encourage cadets to report any kind of unwanted sexual contact.

The military said in December the number of sexual assaults at the academy outside Colorado Springs rose to 33 in the 2010-11 school year, up from 20 the previous year.

Days later, the academy announced that three cadets face sex-crime charges in unrelated incidents.

The academy has been working to reduce the number of assaults and encourage victims to report them since the sex-assault scandal in 2003.