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Nov 07

Sexual Assault in the Military: Understanding the Problem and How to Fix It

Sexual assault in the military is a real problem. In addition to the harm caused to individual victims, sexual assault in the military is detrimental to morale, destroys unit cohesion, and ultimately undermines the readiness of the Armed Forces. As Congress debates legislative fixes, it is important to understand the facts. The military’s mission is to defend the nation. To accomplish that mission, leaders must ensure that the military is combat ready and effective. Preservation of good order and discipline is critical to mission success, and commanders are key to preserving good order and discipline.

Heritage’s new special report describes the military justice system and how it differs from its civilian counterpart; discusses the unique role of the Convening Authority and why it must retain the responsibility to refer cases to courts-martial; explains in detail each congressional and Executive branch proposal, and how modest improvements to the existing system protects victims and those accused of crimes; and highlights why training is part of the solution. 

 Furthermore, this comprehensive report takes an in depth look at best practices from large city district attorney and public defender offices, and compares that to those employed by the JAG Corps, and concludes that the JAG Corps has done an admirable job in litigation training, but should create career litigation tracks to better protect all victims and those accused of crimes in the military.

More About the Speakers

Patrick McGrath
Deputy District Attorney, San Diego District Attorney’s Office, and Retired Rear Admiral, United States Navy  

Paul DerOhannesian II
Partner, DerOhannesian & DerOhannesian, and Author, Sexual Assault Trials, 3rd Ed., LexisNexis 

Kate Coyne
Highly Qualified Expert, Complex Sexual Assault Litigation, United States Marine Corps, Defense Services Organization and retired Deputy Public Defender, San Diego County Public Defender’s Office

Hosted By

Charles "Cully" Stimson Charles "Cully" Stimson

Manager, National Security Law Program and Senior Legal Fellow Read More