Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases

WASHINGTON — Bowing to the Pentagon, the Senate agreed after impassioned debate Thursday to leave the authority to prosecute rapes and other serious crimes with military commanders.

The vote was 55-45 in favor of stripping commanders of that authority, but that was short of the 60 necessary to move ahead on the legislation sponsored by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. Her bill would have given the decision to take serious crimes to courts-martial to seasoned military trial lawyers, independent of the chain of command.

The debate and vote were the culmination of a nearly yearlong campaign to curb sexual assault in the ranks, led by female senators who have questioned whether the military's mostly male leadership understands differences between relatively minor sexual offenses and serious crimes that deserve swift and decisive justice.

Thursday's rejection is unlikely to be the final word. Gillibrand and her allies vowed to seize the next opportunity to force another vote, probably in the spring when the Senate starts work on a sweeping defense policy bill for the 2015 fiscal year.

Officer accused

The Army is investigating sexual abuse allegations against an officer who trains military prosecutors who handle sexual and physical abuse cases, a defense official said Thursday.

Lt. Col. Joseph Morse is accused of groping a female Army lawyer in 2011 while both were attending a weeklong training session in northern Virginia on prosecuting sexual assaults, the official said.

Morse has been suspended from his job, the official said.

Associated Press

Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases 03/06/14 [Last modified: Thursday, March 6, 2014 9:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Five ideas for cool summer snacks

    Cooking

    The 90-degree temperatures are not letting up anytime soon. We Floridians know to keep some cold treats on hand through September. Ice cream. Lemonade. Ice pops. Whether you're packing a beach cooler or preparing for a pool party, we've got you covered. Level up your summer snack game with these five refreshing …

    What’s not to like about a homemade ice cream sandwich? The thin chocolate cake bakes in about 10 to 12 minutes, and from there it’s all chilling out.
  2. U.S. Pacific commander: Remains of sailors found on USS John McCain

    Military

    SINGAPORE — The commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet says a number of remains of Navy sailors were found in a compartment of the USS John McCain, a day after the warship's collision with an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters left 10 sailors missing.

    The damaged port aft hull of USS John S. McCain, left, is seen while docked next to USS America at Singapore's Changi naval base on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017 in Singapore. The focus of the search for 10 U.S. sailors missing after a collision between the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters shifted Tuesday to the damaged destroyer's flooded compartments. [Associated Press]
  3. Florida education news: Solar eclipse, gender gap, new schools and more

    Blogs

    TOTAL ECLIPSE: More than 8,000 Hernando County students skip school after their school district gives them excused absences for the day. Students who …

    Students at Bayonet Point Middle School observe the solar eclipse Monday through their special eclipse glasses.
  4. Epilogue: Martin Giles a man of few, but strong, words for WFLA-AM 970

    Obituaries

    As the story goes, his higher-ups at the Misawa Air Base in Japan were clear with their edict to Martin Giles: It was only the mid-1950s, not far enough away from World War II for the Japanese to be trusted.

    Martin Giles, a longtime radio news anchor for WFLA-AM 970, died last week at the age of 80.