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Lawmakers seek to change military laws for sexual assault cases

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POSTED: Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 11:25am

UPDATED: Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 8:39pm

A bi-partisan group of lawmakers from both chambers of congress are proposing major changes to military laws for sexual assault cases.

The new bill would prevent military commanders from handling sexual assault cases that involve their subordinates. 

Any offense that could result in more than a year imprisonment would be funneled to independent military prosecutors and the legislation would forbid military commanders from setting aside guilty findings. 

All this as the defense department reports that just under 10% of the over 26,000 military sexual assault victims last year actually reported the incidents.

Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand , a New York Democrat, said "the issue of sexual violence is not new. It's been allowed to go on in the shadows for far too long. and for all of us we believe enough is enough. It is time to change this system that has been held over since George Washington that is simply not working today for the men and women who are serving."

Just this month, two service members tasked with curbing sexual assault in the military have themselves been accused of sexual misconduct.

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