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Hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee - Markup of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014

Hearing

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Location: Washington, DC

Senator MCCASKILL. Okay. And then my final Amendment 195, this is an offender database. And this may be one that we need to talk about, too.

But if you think about the civilian criminal justice world, can you imagine a situation where a rape victim comes forward and names a perpetrator, and then refuses to go forward and give any additional testimony, that that name would disappear into thin air?
That is what happens in the military. That name disappears into thin air. That predator is free to strike again at another base, in another country, at another time.

This amendment would allow us to build an offender database for military law enforcement only, not for the public, and it would not identify the victims. But it would allow investigators to go back and see if they get a report at, you know, some base here in the United States. They go back and see, well, you know, this person over at Lejeune did something like this or was accused of doing something like this. And then you could actually maybe go back and find that victim and talk to that victim, and find the same MO, the same pattern.

And it would really enhance the ability to investigate these crimes and find the guilty parties and hold them accountable. And I think is something that is just common sense in the civilian world, and I was shocked to learn that it is not even--had not even been contemplated in the military system.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Senator MCCASKILL. Well, Mr. Chairman, let me just point out that under that scenario, we should not take any fingerprints of anyone who is accused of a crime, but where the crime is not brought to trial. We should never take DNA from anybody who is
ever accused of a crime, but the case is not brought to trial. We should never keep their name on record if they have been accused of a crime, but not been brought to trial.

We are not talking about this being a public record. We are not talking about this being available. We are talking about within the law enforcement community, they being able to access this information. There are no rights that are going to be taken away from this person. It would not be available if someone asked for it.

So I just think you are really handcuffing your law enforcement capability within the military if you do not have some kind of database tracking this information.

Senator NELSON. Would the accused have been in the military court system? Would they have been actually charged by the prosecutor, or is this just an alleged offense because a victim comes forward--an alleged victim comes forward and says so?

Senator MCCASKILL. Yes.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Senator MCCASKILL. Here is what would happen. A woman comes forward and says, I was stalked outside the barracks last night, and then he--this man threw me up against the wall and brutally raped me. But I am not going to--I will tell you his name,
but that is all I am going to do, and I will not do anything else. I do want to come forward. It is too personal. It is too painful.

Law enforcement in the military, the criminal investigations division could then go in a database and see if someone else made the exact same accusation against the same person the same way, the same way the crime was committed in another location at a different time. Then you have go back to that victim and say, you know what? This is not the first time he did this. Will you talk to us, and will you consider going forward?

And many, many times victims who will not come forward in isolation will come forward when they learn that there is another victim that is willing to come forward that had the exact same brutality committed upon her. And we cannot do that in the military because they do not track this information. We do it all the time
in the civilian law enforcement world.


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