NBC Bay Area reports:
California is now one step closer to a major change in the way allegations of sexual trauma in the military are investigated. This week, the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee approved legislation that would require sexual assault cases of California National Guard members to be investigated by civilian authorities instead of military personnel.
“I think a message that goes out to all members of the Guard is that the state legislature has your back,” said Sen. Alex Padilla, author of the bill. “If there has been an assault or abuse in any way, we want to help you achieve justice.”
NBC Bay Area exposed problems with the handling of military sexual assault in the California National Guard in a series of reports over the past 18 months. During our reporting, we have heard numerous stories from Guard members about breakdowns in the investigative process and alleged retaliation after reporting instances of sexual assault.