New sex scandal rocks Australian military

April 7, 2011 - 0:0

SYDNEY (AFP) – The Australian military was hit by another scandal Wednesday after a young army recruit allegedly filmed himself having sex with a female cadet and broadcast it via Skype to his friends.

Defense Minister Stephen Smith said, if proven, he could not imagine a greater “betrayal of trust”, after the 18-year-old woman at the elite Australian Defense Force Academy went public with her claims.
She told the Ten Network she only became aware of the incident when she was contacted by Defense investigators who were alerted by another cadet.
The woman, known only as 'Kate', alleges she had consensual sex but, unknown to her, her partner had set up webcams in the room with six of his friends watching the feed nearby.
Still photos were also taken and had circulated at the academy, Australia's premier college for military recruits.
“It was like my whole world came crashing down around me,” she said.
“They had to read the statements that the boys had to make and I actually threw up. I had to be asked to be excused from the interview because it made me physically ill.”
The same network late Wednesday reported that the woman was offered no counseling and instead told by defense officials she must give a speech to her colleagues, apologizing for humiliating them by going to the media.
The speech was cancelled at the last minute.
The case is being examined by police and defense officials have warned that anyone found to have committed a crime faces termination of their military career.
Australia's military has gained an unwanted reputation for having a drinking culture and for the targeting of women, underscored in a recent 400-page report.
The report examined allegations of a “predatory culture” and drunken misconduct among sailors, including the keeping of a list known as “The Ledger” which put dollar values on sexual conquests with female colleagues.
It prompted navy chief Vice Admiral Russ Crane to warn last month that if behavior does not improve he will introduce breath testing of all sailors.
Smith warned that any conduct in the military that tarnished Australia's reputation would not be tolerated, and said the woman was right to go public with her allegations.