Protect Our Defenders News Blog


New York Times: Service Members Testify to Senate Panel on Sexual Violence

The New York Times reports:

Former service members who were victims of sexual violence told a Senate panel on Wednesday that military commanders should not be involved in decisions about sexual assault cases. Their views reflected those of Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, who convened the panel to promote a bill she is pushing that she said would help solve the problem.

Jeremiah Arbogast, who was a lance corporal in the Marines, said he tried to kill himself after he was drugged and raped by his former commander, who was dishonorably discharged but served no jail time and did not have to register as a sex offender.

“The belief system about rape must change within the armed forces, and it will only change when the perpetrators are consistently prosecuted and no longer given leniency in their sentencing by their commanders,” he said.

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