U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and former Jackson County Prosecutor, today released the following statement in response to allegations of sexual violence against a soldier serving as a Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention at Fort Hood, Tex.:
"If these allegations are proven, then now is the time for our military leaders to reevaluate who is being put into these positions. Are folks filling these jobs who aren't succeeding elsewhere? Or are these jobs being given to our best leaders? These allegations only add to the mounting evidence of the need to change our military justice system to better hold perpetrators accountable and protect survivors of sexual assault."
The U.S. Army announced tonight that allegations of pandering, abusive sexual contact, assault and maltreatment of subordinates are being brought against a sergeant who works with in Fort Hood's Sexual Harassment and Assault Prevention and Response program. The Soldier had been assigned as an Equal Opportunity Advisor and Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program coordinator with one of the III Corps' subordinate battalions when the allegations surfaced.
The new revelations come the day after the Air Force officer in charge of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response was arrested outside a Virginia bar for sexual battery.
In response to a recent sexual assault case at Aviano Air Base in Italy, McCaskill grilled military leaders in several Senate hearings and has introduced legislation that would curtail the authority of military commanders to dismiss jury convictions against sex offenders. McCaskill's bill would also require written justifications when sentences are lessened or commuted.