Friday, May 14, 2021
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RAF investigates video ‘showing sexual assault of airman’ during initiation ritual

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The RAF is investigating a graphic video that reportedly shows troops sexually assaulting an airman in an initiation ritual.

The force’s Police Special Investigation Branch is looking into the disturbance after the footage was acquired by the Daily Mail.

The newspaper said the video showed a naked man being held down by drunken troops before they allegedly assaulted him with a mortar barrel.

It’s believed the incident took place recently in the UK at the end of a course.

An RAF spokeswoman said: “We have been made aware of an offensive video involving Royal Air Force personnel.

“The RAF Police Special Investigation Branch is now investigating the incident shown in the video.”

Under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, the act of “assault by penetration” carries a custodial sentence of up to 19 years for the worst offences.

In July 2020, defence secretary Ben Wallace launched an anti-bullying 24/7 telephone helpline for service personnel across the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force to allow troops to report any abuse or harassment.

At the time, Mr Wallace said: “Our personnel selflessly serve our nation day in and day out and they deserve to be treated equally, with dignity and respect, both on and off duty.

“I want everyone to feel proud of this team. There is simply no place for bullying in our Armed Forces and I am determined to stamp this out. Our helpline is an important next step.”

This isn’t the first time new recruits to the military have allegedly been subjected to shocking initiation rituals.

Two rookies were allegedly forced to rape each other in an initiation ceremony at Pirbright Barracks in Surrey, in 2016, with the footage later shared round the unit.

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