Paying the Pied Piper

SAN DIEGO —  A Navy ship commander pleaded guilty Friday to sexual assault and rape of two female sailors, and a military judge ordered his dismissal and sentenced him to more than three years in prison.

Cmdr. Jay Wylie was given a 10-year term but will serve 42 months as part of a plea agreement, said Sheila Murray, Navy spokeswoman.

I don’t know the terms of the plea agreement or much else about the details of the case but a 42-month sentence for serial rape on the part of a senior Naval officer seems a rather light punishment.   Rape in any context deserves to be made an example of.  The implications of rape by military officers–breaking the bonds of trust necessary for unit cohesion, abuse of elsewhere unheard-of power and authority, making unsafe the confined quarters of a naval vessel–are especially grave.

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