DOD: Sexual assault reports increase at 3 major U.S. military academies

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Pentagon says reports of sexual assault at three of the nation's military academies have gone up to 65, compared to 41 last year.

The Defense Department on Tuesday released its annual report on sexual harassment for the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Air Force Academy for the 2010-2011 academic year.

The Pentagon says it can't conclusively identify the reasons for the increases. However, the department has worked to encourage more victims to report. The Pentagon says those efforts could explain the higher number of reports.

Two new policies to support victims have been announced. One enables victims who have filed an unrestricted report to request an expedited transfer. The second policy standardizes retention periods for sexual assault records across the military services.