White House endorses Pentagon plan to remove sexual assault cases from chain of command

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The White House on Friday announced its support for a Defense Department plan to remove sexual assault cases from the military chain of command, The Wall Street Journal reports. In a statement on Friday, President Joe Biden said the military must prioritize the safety of its members. “We need concrete actions that fundamentally change the way we deal with military sexual assault and make it clear that these crimes will not be minimized or dismissed,” he said. Biden said he would push Congress to push through these long-awaited reforms, with implementation slated for 2023. Under the changes, sex crimes prosecutions would be handled by independent military attorneys, hopefully reducing the risk of negligence on the part of managers.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin expressed his commitment to working with Congress on the reforms in a memo Friday that listed a series of changes based on the findings of the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault and Harassment. “It is clear from their detailed and evidence-based analysis that tackling sexual assault and sexual harassment in our military will require a holistic approach that integrates action into every line of effort,” he wrote. .

Read it on The Wall Street Journal


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