Pentagon Panel Says Commanders Should Have Authority in Sex Assault Cases


A Pentagon Panel concluded Thursday that commanders should retain authority in the prosecution of military sexual assault cases, Military Times reports.

The panel met with victims, senators, attorneys, and commanders for months before coming to the conclusion that taking away the authority from commanders would not reduce sexual assaults or increase the reporting of assaults.

The Role of the Commander subcommittee also noted that recent reforms, signed into law in January as part of the 2014 Defense Authorization Act, have not had time to be instituted or evaluated.

"The evidence does not support a conclusion that removing such authority will increase confidence among victims of sexual assault about the fairness of the military justice system or reduce their concerns about possible reprisal for making reports of sexual assault," said Barbara Jones, a former judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, who chairs the subcommittee.