Air Force to provide new legal service to sexual assault victims
A group of basic trainees perform formation and parade drills in preparation of their graduation on Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, where at least 31 female recruits reported being sexually assaulted by instructors.
Amid an ongoing investigation into sex-assault cases at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, the Air Force has announced a "special victims counsel" to provide legal counsel to purported victims.
The Dayton Daily News reported that the Air Force has trained 60 lawyers to deal specifically with sexual assault cases.
According to the report, Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley announced the program in a letter to U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton. Turner, along with other lawmakers, pushed the Air Force to provide such a service, the report said.
“The rapist has always been entitled to counsel, but the victim had not and it was completely unjust and wrong,” the Dayton Daily News quoted Turner as saying.
In his letter to Turner, Donley was quoted as saying “These actions will ensure that legal assistance is available to sexual assault victims throughout the investigative and court-martial process consistent with the due process rights of the accused.”
Source: Dayton Daily News