Report Details History of Abuse in Australian Military

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SYDNEY, Australia — Newly released documents detail numerous cases of physical and sexual abuse of minors in Australia’s armed forces dating back to the 1950s, prompting Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Friday to raise the possibility of a high-level public inquiry.

The cases are described in a confidential report commissioned by the Australian military last year and made public late Thursday by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Highly redacted extracts from the report had been released three months ago by Defense Minister Stephen Smith. What the ABC obtained, through a Freedom of Information request, was the full executive summary of the report.

It contains the findings of an investigation, conducted by the law firm DLA Piper under a commission from the Australian Defense Force, into hundreds of accounts of sexual abuse across the military, including cases of rape against male recruits as young as 13 years old. It describes a culture in which victims were discouraged from reporting abuse and abusers were not held accountable, and raises the possibility that some pedophiles might have joined the military to gain access to boys....

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