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Service members file lawsuit alleging sex assaults

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A lawsuit has been filed in federal court in San Francisco alleging current and former members of the U.S. military were sexually assaulted while serving.

The women filing the lawsuit on Friday claim they were harassed, raped or assaulted and suffered retaliation when they reported the incidents.

The lawsuit names top Department of Defense officials as defendants, accusing the leadership of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force of failing to prosecute and properly investigate claims of sexual assault.

Susan Burke, the lead lawyer representing the women, has filed four other lawsuits alleging assaults in other military branches.

A federal judge in Virginia in December tossed out a similar lawsuit. Although the judge called the victims' allegations troubling, he said the military disciplinary system should handle the cases.

Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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