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Freedom of Information Act

Opaque military justice system shields child sex abuse cases

More inmates are in U.S. military prisons for sex crimes against children than for any other offense, an Associated Press investigation has found, but an opaque justice system prevents the public from knowing the full scope of the crimes or how much time the prisoners spend behind bars.

Of the 1,233 inmates confined in the military's prison network, 61 percent were convicted of sex crimes, according to the latest available data, obtained through the federal open records law. Children were the victims in over half of those cases.

Since the beginning of this year, service members victimized children in 133 out of 301 sex crime convictions, with charges ranging from rape to...