H.R. 3435 (112th): Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Nov 16, 2011 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

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112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3435

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

November 16, 2011

(for herself, Ms. Bass of California, Mr. Blumenauer, Mr. Braley of Iowa, Mr. Butterfield, Ms. Clarke of New York, Mr. Clay, Mr. Cleaver, Mr. Davis of Illinois, Ms. DeLauro, Ms. Edwards, Mr. Ellison, Ms. Eshoo, Mr. Filner, Mr. Grijalva, Ms. Hahn, Mr. Jackson of Illinois, Ms. Lee of California, Ms. Matsui, Mr. George Miller of California, Ms. Norton, Ms. Pingree of Maine, Mr. Rangel, Ms. Richardson, Ms. Roybal-Allard, Ms. Linda T. Sánchez of California, Ms. Schakowsky, Ms. Sutton, Mr. Thompson of California, Mr. Towns, Mr. Walz of Minnesota, Ms. Woolsey, Mr. Honda, Mr. Heinrich, Mr. Scott of Virginia, Ms. Waters, Mrs. Maloney, Mrs. Lowey, Ms. Moore, Mr. Gutierrez, Mr. Baca, Mr. Kucinich, Ms. DeGette, and Mr. Andrews) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Armed Services

A BILL

To amend title 10, United States Code, to improve the prevention of and response to sexual assault in the Armed Forces, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act or the STOP Act.

2.

Findings

Congress makes the following findings:

(1)

The Department of Defense conducted a survey of members of the Armed Forces serving on active duty that revealed that only 13.5 percent of such members reported incidents of sexual assault, which means that more than 19,000 incidents of sexual assault of members of the Armed Forces actually occurred in 2010 alone.

(2)

Despite modest attempts, the Department of Defense has failed to address the chronic under reporting of incidents of sexual assault and harassment, as by the Department’s own estimates, 86 percent of sexual assaults went unreported in 2010.

(3)

The military adjudication system itself lacks independence, as military judges depend on command, and members of the Armed Forces have only limited access to civilian courts to address their grievances.

(4)

The Cox Commission, sponsored by the National Institute of Military Justice, as well as several other actors, have consistently observed that the United States has fallen behind countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom in terms of its military justice system.

(5)

The military atmosphere is not conducive to resolving issues of sexual assault and harassment, and sexual violence continues to infect the Armed Forces.

(6)

The culture of the United States Armed Forces is based on the chain of command. In a case of sexual assault, a commander may be responsible for both the victim and the offender, or both of their units, or the entire base or ship where the offense occurred. Command discretion empowers a commander to decide if the case goes forward to court martial. The great deference afforded command discretion raises serious concerns about conflicts of interest and the potential for abuse of power.

3.

Department of Defense Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Council

(a)

In general

Chapter 7 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

188.

Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Council

(a)

Establishment; membership

There is a Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Council (hereinafter in this section referred to as the Council). Composed of a majority of civilians this Council shall be independent from the chain of command within the Department of Defense.

(b)

Membership

(1)

The membership of the Council is comprised of individuals selected by the President and the Secretary of Defense who are governmental and nongovernmental experts and professionals in the judicial and sexual assault fields as follows:

(A)

Two members shall be appointed by the Secretary of the Defense from among the Department of Defense personnel who have previously served as military judges in courts-martial cases relating to sexual assault.

(B)

One member shall be appointed by the President from among the Department of Justice personnel with expertise in prosecuting cases of sexual assault.

(C)

One member shall be appointed by the President who shall have extensive experience advocating for the rights of those sexually assaulted while serving in the Armed Forces.

(D)

One member shall be appointed by the President who shall have extensive expertise adjudicating civilian cases of sexual assault.

(2)

Members shall be appointed for a term of three years, except that a member of the Council appointed to fill a vacancy occurring before the end of the term for which the member’s predecessor was appointed shall only serve until the end of such term. A member may serve after the end of the member’s term until the member’s successor takes office.

(c)

Chairman; meetings

(1)

The Council shall elect a chair from among its members.

(2)

The Council shall meet not less often than once every year.

(d)

Administrative provisions

(1)

Each member of the Council who is not an officer or employee of the Federal Government shall be compensated at a rate equal to the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for Executive Schedule Level IV under section 5315 of title 5, for each day (including travel time) during which such member is engaged in the performance of the duties of the Council. Members of the Council who are officers or employees of the United States shall serve without compensation in addition to that received for their services as officers or employees of the United States.

(2)

The members of the Council shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for employees of agencies under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, while away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the board.

(e)

Responsibilities

The Council shall be responsible for the following matters:

(1)

Appointing certain personnel to the Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office and advising the Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office.

(2)

Appointing, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, the Director of Military Prosecutions.

(3)

Appointing, in consultation with the President and the Secretary of Defense, the Executive Director of the Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office.

(4)

Reviewing each request of the Director of Military Prosecutions with respect to a case stemming from a sexual-related offense that has been referred to an appellate court within the military or that has been referred to the Department of Justice.

(5)

Submitting to the Secretary of Defense, Congress, and the Attorney General a report on each request by the Director of Military Prosecutions for a referral to a higher court.

(6)

Advising the Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office on—

(A)

the development of sexual assault reporting protocols;

(B)

the development of sexual assault risk-reduction and response training;

(C)

the development of sexual assault policy; and

(D)

the effectiveness of the Director of Military Prosecution.

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(b)

Clerical amendment

The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

188. Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Council.

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4.

Department of Defense Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office

(a)

In general

Chapter 4 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

145.

Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office

(a)

Establishment

There is in the Department a Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office (hereinafter in this section referred to as the Office). The head of the Office is the Executive Director of the Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office, who shall be appointed by the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the President.

(b)

Responsibilities

The Office shall be responsible for the following:

(1)

Coordination with appropriate military criminal investigative organizations to carry out investigations of accusations of sexual assault.

(2)

Coordination and oversight of the provision of the three fundamental rights of victims of sexual assault, safety, security, and a place to communicate and to be validated.

(3)

Determining whether alleged victims or alleged perpetrators of sexual assault should be temporarily reassigned to be separated from the alleged assailant.

(4)

Establishing protocols to ensure that all reports of sexual assault are taken out of the chain of command and reported directly to the Office.

(5)

Providing instruction in referring alleged victims of sexual assault to the Office to the following personnel:

(A)

Sexual assault coordinators.

(B)

Sexual assault prevention and response victim advocates.

(C)

Health care personnel.

(D)

Chaplains.

(E)

Unit commanders.

(F)

Investigators and law enforcement personnel.

(G)

Judge advocates.

(6)

Maintaining the Military Sexual Registry under section 563 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110–417).

(c)

Coordination of training

The Executive Director shall coordinate the training efforts of the Office with each of the military departments to ensure that all members of the Armed Forces receive—

(1)

the contact information for the Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office for purposes of reporting violations of sexual-related offenses; and

(2)

clear, written guidelines regarding who on the Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office to contact, including the direct telephone number for a victims’ advocate, and what steps to take in the event of a sexual assault.

(d)

Personnel

For the purposes of carrying out the responsibilities of the Office, the Executive Director of the Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office, in consultation with the Sexual Assault Response Council established under section 188 of this title, may select, appoint, and employ such officers and employees as may be necessary, subject to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, and the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title, relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates.

(f)

Inspector General reviews

The Inspector General shall conduct case reviews of a statistically significant number of cases involving allegations of sexual assault on a quarterly basis to determine if proper procedures were followed in accordance with the sexual assault protocols and guidelines within the Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office.

(g)

Report to Congress

The Executive Director shall submit to Congress an annual report on sexual assault in the Armed Forces.

(h)

Definition of military criminal investigative organization

In this section, the term military criminal investigative organization means the Army Criminal Investigation Command, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

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(b)

Clerical amendment

The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

145. Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office.

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(c)

Transfer of function

All functions and personnel of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office of the Department of Defense, as of the date of the enactment of this Act, shall be transferred to the Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office established by section 145 of title 10, United States Code, as added by subsection (a).

5.

Director of Military Prosecutions

(a)

In general

Chapter 47 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 940 the following new section:

940A. Art. 140A.

Director of Military Prosecutions

(a)

Appointment

There is a Director of Military Prosecutions who shall be appointed by the Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Council established under section 188 of this title.

(b)

Responsibilities

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Director of Military Prosecutions shall have independent and final authority to oversee the prosecution of all sexual-related offenses committed by a member of the Armed Forces and shall refer cases to be tried by courts-martial. The Director may, at any time prior to the judge rendering a verdict, request that the sexual-related offense be referred to a military appellate court or referred to the Department of Justice. The Director shall be the convening authority for all sexual-related offenses and shall determine the type of court-martial to which each such case will be referred. Members of a court-martial shall be selected by a court-martial administrator at the request of the Director.

(c)

Sexual-Related offense

In this section, the term sexual-related offense means—

(1)

rape;

(2)

aggravated sexual assault;

(3)

abusive sexual contact;

(4)

indecent assault;

(5)

nonconsensual sodomy;

(6)

an attempt to commit an offense described in any of paragraphs (1) through (5); and

(7)

any other sexual offense the Secretary determines is appropriate.

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(b)

Clerical amendment

The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 940 the following new item:

940A. Art. 140A. Director of Military Prosecutions.

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6.

Information database on sexual assault incidents in the Armed Forces

Section 563 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110–417) is amended by striking subsections (a) and (b) and inserting the following new subsections:

(a)

Military Sexual Registry

(1)

Database required

The Secretary of Defense shall implement a centralized, case-level database, to be known as the Military Sexual Registry, for the collection, in a manner consistent with Department of Defense regulations for restricted reporting, and maintenance of information regarding sexual assaults involving a member of the Armed Forces, including information, if available, about the nature of the assault, the victim, the offender, and the outcome of any legal proceedings in connection with the assault. The Secretary shall consult with the Attorney General to ensure that the Military Sexual Registry is designed to facilitate the reporting of relevant information about individuals included in the database to the Department of Justice for inclusion in the National Sex Offender Registry established under section 119 of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (42 U.S.C. 16919).

(2)

Information required

The Military Sexual Registry shall include the following information about each individual who is a member of the Armed Forces who is convicted of committing a sexual assault:

(A)

The name of the individual, including any alias used by the individual.

(B)

All relevant aspects of the case against the individual.

(C)

The Social Security number of the individual.

(D)

The address of each residence where the individual resides or plans to reside.

(E)

The license plate number and a description of any vehicle owned or operated by the individual.

(F)

A criminal history of the individual, including the date of all sexual offenses committed by the individual, the date of any conviction of the individual for a sexual offense, and the status of the individual’s parole, probation, or supervised release.

(G)

A DNA sample of the individual.

(H)

A current photograph of the individual.

(I)

Any other information required by the Secretary.

(b)

Location of database

The Military Sexual Registry shall be housed at and maintained by the Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office of the Department of Defense under section 145 of title 10, United States Code.

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