Sen. French seeks info on sexual assault allegations

JUNEAU — An Anchorage senator is seeking information surrounding sexual assault complaints within the Alaska National Guard.

In a letter dated Monday, Democratic Sen. Hollis French asked Gov. Sean Parnell, a Republican, for the number of such complaints made to the guard or to local law enforcement about the guard from 2008 to 2012. He also requested the number of complaints referred to law enforcement for investigation, the number of reported cases referred for prosecution and the number of successful prosecutions.

Messages left by The Associated Press on Tuesday with a spokeswoman for Parnell and with the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs weren’t immediately returned.

French, a former prosecutor, said he also wanted a copy of the guard’s policy for notifying law enforcement of sexual assault allegations and to know what assistance the guard must provide police in investigating allegations made by or against guard members.

“I think you will agree that every sexual assault deserves to be treated as the serious crime that it is, and I look forward to seeing this data,” French wrote.

The letter follows a McClatchy Newspapers’ story last month in which current and former guard members said there was sexual misconduct within the ranks. Two chaplains said Parnell’s administration had been told of sexual assault problems as early as three years ago.

French has announced plans to run for lieutenant governor next year.

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