WASHINGTON -- Eight current and former members of the U.S. military allege in a new federal lawsuit that they were raped, assaulted or harassed during their service and suffered retaliation when they reported it to their superiors.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, accuses the military of having a "high tolerance for sexual predators in their ranks" and fostering a hostile environment that discourages victims of sexual assault from coming forward and punishes them when they do. The suit claims the Defense Department has failed to take aggressive steps to confront the problem despite public statements suggesting otherwise.

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