Rise in reports of sexual assault at U.S. Navy, Army academies

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - There was a rise in reports of sexual assault at U.S. Navy and Army military academies in the last year, the Department of Defense said on Wednesday.

An annual report, based on anonymous surveys, said reports of sexual assault in total across the military academies had decreased slightly in the last year, and the Air Force Academy specifically saw a decrease from 49 reports to 32.

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A cadet from the United States Military Academy holds a hat before the start of the Army versus Navy NCAA football game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 8, 2012. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL MILITARY EDUCATION)
Midshipmen look to the sky as the U.S. Navy Blue Angels perform a fly-over to begin the graduation and commencement ceremony for the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 2015 in Annapolis, Maryland May 22, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
The graduating class of second lieutenants arrive at the Air Force Academy's Class of 2012 graduation ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colorado May 23, 2012. REUTERS/Rick Wilking (UNITED STATES - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS)
WEST POINT, NY - MAY 25: 2013 graduating cadets celebrate after graduation at the United States Military Academy at West Point (USMA) during the 215 commencement ceremony May 25, 2013 in West Point, New York. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivered the commencement speech for the class of 2013. Most USMA graduates are commissioned as second lieutenants in the US Army. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images)
Female midshipmen, required to wear trousers instead of skirts for the first time, process onto the field for their graduation and commissioning ceremony at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland U.S. May 27, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Midshipmen from the United States Naval Academy stand at attention during formation before the start of the Army versus Navy NCAA football game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 8, 2012. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL MILITARY EDUCATION)
WEST POINT, NY - JUNE 27: New cadets march in a courtyard on campus during Reception Day at the United States Military Academy at West Point, June 27, 2016 in West Point, New York. Reception Day is the day when new cadets report to West Point to begin the process of becoming West Point cadets and future U.S. Army officers. Upwards of 1,300 cadet candidates for the class of 2020 will report to West Point on Monday. The new cadets will begin six weeks of basic training before Acceptance Day in early August. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
United States Naval Academy midshipmen salute prior to the Army versus Navy football game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 12, 2009. This is the 110th annual meeting between the two teams. REUTERS/Molly Riley (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
WEST POINT, NY - JUNE 27: New cadets take the Oath of Allegiance during Reception Day at the United States Military Academy at West Point, June 27, 2016 in West Point, New York. Reception Day is the day when new cadets report to West Point to begin the process of becoming West Point cadets and future U.S. Army officers. Upwards of 1,300 cadet candidates for the class of 2020 will report to West Point on Monday. The new cadets will begin six weeks of basic training before Acceptance Day in early August. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
U.S. Marines take a pledge for their commissioning as officers at the 2009 U.S. Naval Academy graduation in Annapolis, Maryland, May 22, 2009. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES POLITICS MILITARY)
A second lieutenant bows his head at his Air Force Academy's Class of 2012 graduation ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colorado May 23, 2012. REUTERS/Rick Wilking (UNITED STATES - Tags: MILITARY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY POLITICS)
Graduated midshipmen toss their caps in the air upon the conclusion of the graduation and commissioning ceremonies at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis May 22, 2009. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES POLITICS MILITARY IMAGES OF THE DAY)
WEST POINT, NY - JUNE 27: Hair is swept up at the barber shop on campus during Reception Day at the United States Military Academy at West Point, June 27, 2016 in West Point, New York. Reception Day is the day when new cadets report to West Point to begin the process of becoming West Point cadets and future U.S. Army officers. Upwards of 1,300 cadet candidates for the class of 2020 will report to West Point on Monday. The new cadets will begin six weeks of basic training before Acceptance Day in early August. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Midshipmen look to the sky as the U.S. Navy Blue Angels perform a fly-over to begin the graduation and commencement ceremony for the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 2015 in Annapolis, Maryland May 22, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Cadets from the United States Military Academy at West Point pack the stands as they attend the Army vs Navy college football game at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland, December 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
WEST POINT, NY - JUNE 27: New cadets stand in formation during the Oath of Allegiance ceremony during Reception Day at the United States Military Academy at West Point, June 27, 2016 in West Point, New York. Reception Day is the day when new cadets report to West Point to begin the process of becoming West Point cadets and future U.S. Army officers. Upwards of 1,300 cadet candidates for the class of 2020 will report to West Point on Monday. The new cadets will begin six weeks of basic training before Acceptance Day in early August. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Cadet candidates for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point class of 2018 take the oath officially making them cadets during Reception Day in West Point, New York July 2, 2014. During Reception Day, the new cadets begin the process of becoming West Point cadets and future U.S. Army officers. They undergo administrative processing, fittings for their initial issue of military clothing, receive haircuts, medical and physical evaluations and begin their first lessons in marching, military courtesy and discipline. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: EDUCATION MILITARY SOCIETY)
WEST POINT, NY - MAY 25: 2013 graduating cadets toss their hats after graduation at the United States Military Academy at West Point (USMA) during the 215 commencement ceremony May 25, 2013 in West Point, New York. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivered the commencement speech for the class of 2013. Most USMA graduates are commissioned as second lieutenants in the US Army. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images)
WEST POINT, NY - MAY 25: 2013 graduating cadets celebrate after graduation at the United States Military Academy at West Point (USMA) during the 215 commencement ceremony May 25, 2013 in West Point, New York. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivered the commencement speech for the class of 2013. Most USMA graduates are commissioned as second lieutenants in the US Army. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images)
The Thunderbirds perform a fly-over as graduates from the Air Force Academy toss their hats in the air at the conclusion of their commencement ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S., June 2, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Graduates celebrate after shaking hands with U.S. President Barack Obama during the Air Force Academy commencement ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colorado May 23, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY)
Members of the graduating class listen to proceedings during commencement ceremony at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, May 28, 2014. U.S. President Barack Obama's commencement address was the first in a series of speeches that he and top advisers will use to explain U.S. foreign policy in the aftermath of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and lay out a broad vision for the rest of his presidency. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY)
Underclassmen listen from the back of the stadium as U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a commencement ceremony at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, May 28, 2014. Obama's commencement address here is the first in a series of speeches that he and top advisers will use to explain U.S. foreign policy in the aftermath of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and lay out a broad vision for the rest of his presidency. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
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But the Military Academy at West Point received 26 reports of sexual assault, up from 17 in the previous year, and the Naval Academy in Annapolis saw three more reports compared to last year.

"This year's survey results underscore the unique challenges the academies face in sustaining long-term decreases in the occurrence of sexual assault," an accompanying Pentagon statement said.

U.S. Senators grilled the Navy and Marine Corps' top leaders on Tuesday about a scandal involving a Facebook group called "Marines United" for sharing explicit pictures of female members of the armed forces.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service has opened an inquiry into the matter.

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Attorney Gloria Allred represents two female United States Marines, active duty Marine Marisa Woytek (L) and former Marine Erika Butner (R) during a press conference concerning their personal photographs being posted without their consent to a "Marine Unit" Facebook page in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Former United States Marine Erika Butner is seen during a press conference concerning personal photographs being posted without their consent to a "Marine Unit" Facebook page in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Active duty U.S. Marine Marisa Woytek (L) listens during a press conference concerning personal photographs being posted without their consent to a "Marine Unit" Facebook page in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Former United States Marine Erika Butner hold up a picture of herself as a U.S. Marine following a press conference concerning personal photographs being posted without their consent to a "Marine Unit" Facebook page in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A tattoo is seen on the forearm of former United States Marine Erika Butner during a press conference concerning personal photographs being posted without their consent to a "Marine Unit" Facebook page in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Active duty Marine Marisa Woytek(L) attends a press conference with attorney Gloria Allred (C)and former US Marine Erika Butner in Los Angeles,California on March 8,2017. US naval investigators are probing allegations that Marines distributed nude pictures of female service personnel without their consent, officials said March 6, 2017. The explicit photos, shared on a secret Facebook page which has since been taken down, reportedly showed female Marines and other women in various states of undress. Posts on the website, called 'Marines United,' also contained lewd comments about some of the women. / AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
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(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Alistair Bell)

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