Pentagon punished nearly 500 for sexual harassment


WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military says it fired or disciplined nearly 500 workers for sexual harassment in a 12-month period, and nearly 13 percent of the complaints filed involved repeat offenders.

The Pentagon released its first formal report on sexual harassment in a briefing Thursday that came amid criticism from Congress over how the department handles sexual assaults and related crimes.

The report says 1,366 reports of sexual harassment were filed in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. The cases involved 496 offenders across the services and National Guard. Officials say the harassment is vastly underreported.

Sexual harassment involves unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is tied to a person's ongoing employment or interferes with the person's work.

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