NYTimes: Defense Nominee Urged to Take Action in Sexual Assault Cases

He’s not scheduled to be confirmed as defense secretary until Thursday afternoon, but the pressure on Ashton B. Carter has already started.

House members led by Representative Louise M. Slaughter, Democrat of New York, have written a letter putting Mr. Carter on notice that they will be watching how he handles reports of sexual assault in the military.

The letter, also signed by Representative Michael R. Turner, Republican of Ohio, and Representative Niki Tsongas, Democrat of Massachusetts, asks Mr. Carter to bring “the full weight of your office to bear on improving the military’s response to sexual assault and preventing it from happening in the first place.”

The Pentagon released a survey on Wednesday showing that although students at the three military service academies reported fewer sexual assaults in the 2013-14 school year, more than 40 percent of those who had reported unwanted sexual contact also said they had faced retaliation.

“We want to make sure that he does not let up on this,” Ms. Slaughter said in a telephone interview.

– Helene Cooper