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Wed Mar 13, 2013, 06:59 PM

In Response To High Profile Case, McCaskill Drafting Legislation On Sexual Assault In Military

As many as 19,000 service members are sexually assaulted each year. A small fraction of those cases -- around 2,500 a year -- are actually reported, and a much smaller fraction are prosecuted.

The Senate Armed Services held a hearing on sexual assaults in the military, following a high profile case in which Lt. Col. James Wilkerson was convicted by a military jury of "abusive sexual contact." After the trial and conviction, a Lieutenant General dismissed the charges, without having to provide an explanation.

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill has said that the appearances of this case are devastating to other victims of sexual assault in the military, and that it appears as though "somebody (was) taking care of one of their guys."

In response, McCaskill has announced she is drafting legislation to change the Uniform Code of Military Justice to prohibit commanders from nullifying a guilty verdict by a jury, and would require a written justification for commuting or lessening a sentence.


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