May 14, 2013

Gillibrand Statement on Breaking News of New Investigation into Sexual Assault by Army Sergeant in Charge of Sexual Assault Prevention, Second Such Incident in Two Weeks

Washington D.C. - U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) released the following statement after the U.S. Army announced today that a Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program coordinator at Fort Hood is under investigation for pandering, abusive sexual contact, assault and maltreatment of subordinates. On Thursday, Gillibrand will unveil her new comprehensive legislation that would reform the military justice system by removing chain of command influence from the prosecution of these crimes:

“To say this report is disturbing would be a gross understatement. For the second time in a week we are seeing someone who is supposed to be preventing sexual assault being investigated for committing that very act. We have to do better by the men and women serving and assure them that they will not be attacked by their colleagues, and not be subject to this kind of treatment.

“We have the best and the brightest serving in our military. We have the greatest military in the world. And we ask everything of them. We ask them to even die for their country. We should not be allowing them to be subject to sexual assault and rape.

“It is time to get serious and get to work reforming the military justice system that clearly isn’t working. I believe strongly that to create the kind of real reform that will make a difference we must remove the chain of command from the decision making process for these types of serious offenses.”