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News | Sept. 27, 2023

Press Release: Evaluation of the Military Criminal Investigative Organizations’ (MCIO) Adult Sexual Assault Investigations (DODIG-2023-124)


Inspector General (IG) Robert P. Storch announced today that the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General (DoD OIG) released the “Evaluation of the Military Criminal Investigative Organizations’ (MCIO) Adult Sexual Assault Investigations,” the fourth in a series of DoD OIG evaluations reviewing MCIO investigations of this kind.

While the DoD OIG’s evaluation found that MCIO agents generally adhered to DoD, military service, and MCIO policy when conducting sexual assault investigations, it also identified deficiencies that need corrective action.

IG Storch stated, “While the MCIOs were largely compliant with applicable investigative policies, we found that the Air Force Office of Investigations (AFOSI) failed to conduct supervisory reviews for closed investigations, as required by its own policy. These reviews are important for ensuring that the outcomes of sexual assault cases are based upon robust and thorough investigations.”

DoD OIG also determined that MCIO agents generally submitted Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) kits to forensic laboratories for analysis when appropriate. However, DoD OIG also identified some instances in which the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) failed to submit SAFE kits for testing when it should have because of incomplete documentation and insufficient oversight.

To address these findings, the DoD OIG recommends that the AFOSI commander take proactive measures to update information and investigation management systems to require documented supervisory reviews before case closure, as required by AFOSI policy. Furthermore, the DoD OIG recommends that NCIS reopen one investigation, collect a DNA sample for exclusionary purposes, and submit the untested SAFE kit to a forensic laboratory for analysis.

The DoD OIG remains committed to enhancing the integrity and effectiveness of sexual assault investigations across the MCIOs, and it will continue to work to ensure the implementation of the recommendations included in this evaluation.