In our previous blog, we discussed the latest effort in a long line of
many to pass a comprehensive military sexual assault bill. On Tuesday
of last week, the bill fell short of earning the 60 votes needed to move
ahead in the Senate with only 49 senators voting in support of the measure.
Military sexual assault has become a hot button issue nationwide, especially
as more data becomes available about the true nature of the problem. Leading
up to last week’s vote, the bill’s author - U.S. Senator Kirsten
Gilibrand of New York - had also boldly criticized the Department of Defense
for severely underreporting sex-related violence in the armed forces.
Here are some additional details about the bill and why it fell short:
- The bill was designed to improve enforcement and reporting of sexual assaults
and other sex-related crimes in the military, as well as assisting victims
in their fight for justice.
- Had the bill passed, it would have created an independent justice system
to prosecute rape crimes that occur in the military, thereby relieving
responsibility from the military chain of command for prosecuting sex crimes.
- Military officials opposed the reform bill, stating that it would undermine
authority. President Obama also positioned himself against the bill.
Although many have called for sweeping changes to the system responsible
for prosecuting military sex crimes, there is no doubt that officials
have placed an emphasis on taking allegations seriously. As such, any
member of the military charged with a sex offense should expect aggressive
prosecution and harsh penalties if convicted.
The Federal Practice Group Worldwide Service fields an experienced
military criminal defense team dedicated to protecting the rights and futures of service members
charged with all types of crimes, including sexual assault. To discuss
your case and how our firm can help,
contact us today.