HASC Tackles “Sweeping Changes” To Military Sexual Assault Laws

HASC TACKLES “SWEEPING CHANGES” TO MILITARY SEXUAL ASSAULT LAWS

May 22, 2013
Defense Drumbeat
“I think the leadership of the military is confused,” said Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, “They believe as long as they have programs where they say ‘sexual assault’ is wrong that they’ve done enough. No. They have to support the victim, and they have to support vigorous prosecution.”
The Military Personnel Subcommittee Mark of the FY2014 National Defense Authorization Act includes a number of meaningful, bipartisan reforms to the way sexual assault cases are reported, investigated and punished in the military.

Sweeping Changes: “A House panel is poised by pass sweeping changes in sexual assault prevention programs on Wednesday, with less command flexibility in reducing or dismissing rape and assault charges and wider support for victims.The hot-button personnel issue will come up Wednesday afternoon when the House Armed Services subcommittee on military personnel passes its part of the 2014 defense authorization bill.” – Military Times, 5/21/13

Revisions to Military Law:  “Determined to check the growing epidemic of sexual assaults in the armed forces, a House panel is poised to approve a series of revisions to longstanding military law. They include stripping commanding officers of their unilateral authority to change or dismiss a court-martial conviction and requiring that service members found guilty of sexual offenses be dismissed or dishonorably discharged. The House Armed Services military personnel subcommittee is scheduled to vote Wednesday on the changes, which are supported by Republicans and Democrats and reflect congressional outrage over the poor results that military leaders have achieved in their drive to change the culture within the ranks to combat sexual assault.” – The Associated Press, 5/22/13

Correcting the Problem: “The result has been a flurry of legislation from all corners of Capitol Hill aimed at correcting the problem. The annual defense authorization bill, which House Armed Services subcommittees start marking up Wednesday, will incorporate some of these proposals, although the proposals are likely to trigger strong arguments. The approaches differ widely, but there is one constant throughout each bill: Lawmakers of both parties — even some of the Pentagon’s biggest boosters — no longer trust the military to handle this problem on its own” . – Roll Call, 5/21/13

Tougher Penalties: Lawmakers frustrated by a spate of high-profile military sexual assault cases unveiled draft proposals in the House of Representatives on Tuesday…. The Republican-led personnel panel of the House Armed Services Committee proposed additions to the annual defense policy bill that would impose tougher penalties on people who commit sex crimes and would ensure better treatment for victims. – Reuters, 5/21/13

For more information on sexual assault reforms introduced by Reps. Turner, Tsongas, Sanchez, Walorski, and other members of the House Armed Services committee, click here

113th Congress

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