Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced recently that the Pentagon has plans to revamp how the armed services handle sexual abuse complaints. Hagel’s initiatives include:
- Strengthening the enforcement of policies banning romantic relationships between recruiters, instructors, and green troops
- Supporting victims of sexual assault by providing them with legal advice and representation
- Thoroughly checking whether inspector generals on investigations of sexual assault are handling the cases properly
On June 12, the Senate Armed Services Committee passed a measure that seeks to punish sexual assault offenders in the military, highlighting a provision that would necessitate an automatic review of the case if a commander goes against a military lawyer’s advice to prosecute.
A similar bill authored by New York Senator (Democrat) and Senate armed services personnel committee chairwoman Kirsten Gillibrand that didn’t pass the panel would have prevented military commanders from charging their troops with sexual offenses and would have delegated that duty to military prosecutors only, who Gillibrand said would encourage the reporting of crimes as they are objective and impartial.
Gillibrand’s measure was opposed by the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, including Army General Ray Odierno, as it would diminish the commanders’ power to discipline their troops. They added that commanders are more dedicated to prosecuting crime in their ranks than legal staffers.
If you are facing a criminal charge, such as sexual assault, in Appleton and want to be represented by experienced and knowledgeable lawyers you can rely on, contact our attorneys at Hart Powell, S.C. by calling 414-271-9595. Our attorneys value your legal rights, your reputation and the reputation of your family and loved ones, and your chance for a bright future.