May 7, 2013 5:10 PM by NBC News
President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he has "no tolerance" for sexual assault in the military, comments made in the wake of a new Pentagon report showing the instances of such crimes have spiked since 2010.
The president said he had spoken today with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to urge him to "exponentially step up" efforts to identify suspects in assaults and aggressively prosecute those cases.
"The bottom line is: I have no tolerance for this," Obama said at a press conference following his meeting with South Korean President Park Geun-hye.
"I expect consequences," Obama added. "So I don't just want more speeches or awareness programs or training, but ultimately folks look the other way. If we find out somebody's engaging in this, they've got to be held accountable - prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged. Period."
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