Under the Radar

Scripps Washington Bureau

Outrageous, mind-boggling and true, this series of reports by Scripps’ national investigative team found that the U.S. Department of Defense is exempt from a federal law that requires civilian sex offenders register while still in confinement and that the resulting loophole allows sex offenders in the military – including convicted rapists and child molesters – to relocate unregistered once they get out of the brig. Scripps reporter Mark Greenblatt’s review of more than 1,300 military cases turned up more than 240 “under the radar” sex offenders whose past crimes, in some cases, didn’t show up even when they were arrested and convicted for new, civilian offenses. The reports, versions of which appeared on MSNBC and PBS’s NewsHour in addition to local TV stations, triggered local, state and national action. California Congresswoman Jackie Speier, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, has asked the DOD’s Inspector General to investigate military sex offenders whose names and crimes Scripps identified and the backlog of cases the reporters couldn’t confirm. For frank, no-frills reporting about a frightening breakdown in communications between the military and civilian authorities, Under the Radar receives a Peabody Award.


Executive Producer of Broadcast Investigations: Lawan Hamilton. Vice President & Bureau Chief: Ellen Weiss. Writers: Mark Greenblatt & Lawan Hamilton. National Investigative Correspondent: Mark Greenblatt. National Investigations Photographer: Matt Anzur. National Investigations Video Editor: Vik Narayan. Associate Producer: Eric Krupke. National Investigations Intern: Brittany Morris. Senior Investigations Editor: Marcia Myers. Director of Digital Content: Phil Pruitt. Multi-Media Producer: Marc Georges. Data Visualization Specialist: Elizabeth Scheltens. Regional Reporter: Trish Choate. National Investigations Producer: Angela Hill.