Hundreds of sex assaults reported at San Diego military bases last year

SAN DIEGO – Nearly 500 sexual assaults were reported on San Diego Navy and Marine bases in 2016, according to numbers released Friday by the Department of Defense.

Titled Reports of Sexual Assault Received at Military Installations and Combat Areas of Interest, the document tallies adult sexual assaults (not including domestic abuse) at Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force bases around the world, as well as in areas of conflict where U.S. service people are deployed. It includes incidents reported in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

San Diego is the second largest Navy complex following Norfolk, Virginia, which had the most sexual assault reports of any Navy base in 2016: 240. The total number of sexual assaults reported that year at San Diego's four Navy bases was 267. That represents about 21% of the sexual assaults investigated at all Navy bases.

The number of cases reported at each local base is:

  • Naval Base Coronado: 69
  • Naval Base Pt. Loma: 11
  • Naval Base San Diego: 187
  • Naval Base North Island: 0

Sexual assaults reported on San Diego Marine bases in 2016 totaled 253 and represented 31% of all sexual assaults investigated by the Corps. The Marines investigated 157 assaults at Camp Pendleton, 55 at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and 41 at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. At the 29 Palms Marine base in San Bernardino County, 38 sexual assault cases were reported in 2016.

At Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, the Marines' other large base, 169 sexual assaults were reported.

According to the Department of Defense, sexual assaults include rape, forcible sodomy, abusive sexual contact and attempts to commit those crimes. Not all sexual assaults reported at a particular installation happened there, because service members can report an assault at the time and place of their choosing, the DOD said.

Sexual assaults can be made by active duty service members, adult dependents of service members and civilians who allege they have been assaulted by service members.

The DOD has been encouraging service members to report sexual assaults since 2005.

Read the complete report here.