WASHINGTON, D.C.- Congressman Tim Ryan and Congresswoman Kay Granger introduced the Combating Military Sexual Assault Act of 2013, a bipartisan bill that directs the Department of Defense to provide a Special Victims' Counsel for victims of sexual assault, and implements other significant reforms to prevent sexual assaults and assist victims.
According to a release, the SVC will provide expert legal advice to the victim throughout the process and across the full range of issues: criminal liability, the victims responsibility to testify, and assistance in navigating any military of civilian litigation.
The Combating Military Sexual Assault Act of 2013 instructs the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office to provide guidance and assistance throughout the services in collecting, maintaining, and disseminating sexual assault data drawn from annual reports from the individual services as well as develop metrics to measure the effectiveness of, and compliance of response and prevention efforts.
Each of the services is mandated to track allegations of sexual assault as well as courts-martial and trials of service members for offenses relating to sexual assault.
offenses to go to the general court-martial convening authority (GCMCA) for initial disposition.
This will over ride current law which allows lower level commanders to dispose of a sexual assault offense.
This bill also removes the ability of the convening authority to set aside or reduce a finding of guilty, except for minor offenses.
It will ensure that a conviction like the recent one at Aviano Air Base will never again be thrown out by a commander.
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