Joe Biden Backs Removing Sexual Assault Prosecution From US Military.

Joe Biden Backs Removing Sexual Assault Prosecution From US Military Chain Of Command

The proposed changes were an "overdue step in the right direction", Joe Biden said. (File)

Washington:

US President Joe Biden on Friday endorsed removing the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault cases in the armed forces from the military chain of command.

The recommendation was one of the chief proposals made by an independent commission set up by Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin to look into the handling of sexual assault in the military.

Austin said he would work with Congress to amend military justice laws and remove the prosecution of cases of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse from the military chain of command.

Dedicated offices in each military department would be created to handle the prosecution of such cases, the defense secretary said.

Currently, commanders are responsible for the investigation and prosecution of crimes allegedly committed by their subordinates, a system critics say often presents conflicts of interest and other issues.

The proposed changes were an "overdue step in the right direction", Biden said.

"We need concrete actions that fundamentally change the way we handle military sexual assault and that make it clear that these crimes will not be minimized or dismissed," he said in a statement.

"I look forward to working with Congress to implement these necessary reforms and promote a work environment that is free from sexual assault and harassment for every one of our brave service members."

More than a dozen commanders and unit leaders were sacked in December after a series of murders and sex crimes at a major US military base.

Among the victims was Vanessa Guillen, a 20-year-old army soldier who was murdered by a fellow soldier after being sexually harassed and telling her family she did not trust the military command to follow up on her complaint.

According to the Defense Department's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, there were 7,816 sexual assault complaints in the armed forces in 2020, a slight fall from the record 7,825 of 2019.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV News

NDTV.com provides latest news from India and the world. Get today’s news headlines from Business, Technology, Bollywood, Cricket, videos, photos, live news coverage and exclusive breaking news from India.

https://www.ndtv.com/

Related news
Left remains silent on prominent Democrat donor's criminal conviction.

Left remains silent on prominent Democrat donor's criminal conviction.

Ed Buck was convicted in overdose deaths of two black men; Organizer of protests in Ed Buck's case Jasmyne Cannick reacts on 'Fox News Primetime.' #FoxNews #FoxNewsPrimetime Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel ...

Dozens still missing in Germany two weeks after floods - DW News.

Dozens still missing in Germany two weeks after floods - DW News.

Two weeks after the devastating floods in western Germany, the disaster is far from over. People are only slowly working their way through dealing with what the flood has left behind: bulks of mud and piles of rubbish. Dozens of people are still m...

Moment jewel thief swaps £4.2m of diamonds for pebbles in Ocean’s Eleven con

Moment jewel thief swaps £4.2m of diamonds for pebbles in Ocean’s Eleven con

THIS is the moment a 60-year-old jewel thief swapped diamonds worth £4.2million for PEBBLES in an Ocean's Eleven-style con - before blaming her dead sister for the heist. Lulu Lakatos, 60, who has now been convicted of the biggest jewellery shop c...

UK summer temperatures may hit 40C

UK summer temperatures may hit 40C

Meteorologists are warning summer temperatures in the UK may hit 40c. It comes as the government announced it will spend £860m on flood defence schemes to help protect "thousands of homes and businesses". SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel for more ...

BREAKING: Record 689,313 people 'pinged' by NHS COVID app.

BREAKING: Record 689,313 people 'pinged' by NHS COVID app.

A record 689,313 people in England and Wales have been 'pinged' by the NHS COVID app - up 11.4% from the previous week. SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel for more videos: Follow us on Twitter: Like us on Facebook: Follow us on Instagram: For more c...

Alaska on Tsunami warning after massive 8.2 magnitude earthquake strikes off US coast

Alaska on Tsunami warning after massive 8.2 magnitude earthquake strikes off US coast

A HUGE 8.2 magnitude earthquake has sparked tsunami fears in Alaska and Hawaii. The quake hit the Alaska Peninsula at at 10:15p.m. local time (06:15 UK time) but there were no immediate reports on loss of property or life. The National Tsunami War...