TURNER and Tsongas Hold Hearing on DoD Sexual Assault Conviction Reporting
by Mike Turner on December 15, 2017 at 11:29 AM
Co-Chairs Niki Tsongas (MA-3) and I of the Military Sexual Assault Prevention Caucus held a briefing recently on the Department of Defense’s (DoD) reporting of sexual assault convictions. Afterwards, we released the following joint statement:
After the shooting in Sutherland Springs, we learned that the Air Force failed to report a military conviction that could have prevented the shooter from obtaining the firearms he used to kill 26 people. This tragic incident led those of us in Congress to question the DoD’s processes for reporting military convictions to civilian authorities in a variety of contexts; for the Military Sexual Assault Prevention Caucus, it meant we should take a deeper look at whether other gaps in DoD’s reporting processes exist, specifically as they relate to sexual offense reporting. Yesterday, we heard that roughly half of military justice cases across the services are related to sexual assault, which makes it all the more important that military sex offense convictions be properly reported to outside authorities. We are concerned over the lack of an integrated DoD-wide data system for tracking and maintaining accountability over such cases. We will continue to work with DoD to find a legislative solution to close any gaps in communication and reporting in order to prevent future tragedies like the one in Texas.