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Response to Sexual Abuse at Air Academy

March 14, 2003

Re "Sky Was Limit for Cadet, Until Her Harassment Complaint," March 12: As the mother of two young girls and the wife of a retired Marine, reading about the reports of sexual abuse against women at the Air Force Academy makes my skin crawl. These alleged sexual predators are now officers in the U.S. military. Having seen the power and respect that officers in command demand, it makes me wonder how many rapes and assaults have been committed.

Young enlisted women, at age 18 or 19, have been programmed to obey these officers. To think that sexual predators could be in command of young women is horrifying. Fix the problem at the academy, but make sure you find those of that ilk who may be lurking on active duty.

Beverly L. Hanes-Simon

San Clemente


As a veteran, I'm appalled at the conduct of the cadets and at ex-Cadet Andrea Prasse's situation now, because seven cadets felt her accuser had more credibility than she did. There was no commissioned officer on this panel that decided her fate, and she was denied the honor of graduating with her class. And because she spoke out, the FBI has a file that flags her as a "person of questionable character."

What about a file on her accuser as a possible stalker? To me it sounds like the "good ole boys" have won again. What of these "magnificent" seven who challenge her integrity? What is their connection with the accuser? And to think it's possible that individuals who have committed rapes may be flying multimillion-dollar aircraft and leading our troops is appalling.

Tony Hollins


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