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Air Force Sex Assault Case Prompts Legislation From Tsongas

Chelmsford's member of Congress, Niki Tsongas (D-Lowell), made ending sexual abuse within the armed forces a key part of her election campaign, and she had some harsh words following recent allegations of sexual misconduct of a high ranking Air For

 

Last week, Lt. Colonel Jeffrey Krusinski, head of the U.S. Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, was charged with alleged sexual battery, a fact that led to a strong response from Chelmsford's member of Congress.

The news came on the same day that Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (D-Lowell), was briefed by U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on the Department of Defense's (DoD) annual report on sexual assualt in the military.

Tsongas, co-chair of the Congressional Military Sexual Assault Prevention Caucus thanked Hagel for presenting a plan for preventing sexual assault, but had scathing words for the current state of sexual harassment faced by members of the military.

"the DoD report indicates a staggering amount of instances of perceived retaliation against victims of sexual assault, which confirms the alarming and persistent anecdotal evidence we have heard," she said. “We have a long way to go toward combating and preventing sexual assault in the military and I am committed to continuing my work with my colleagues in Congress on this critical national security issue.”

Tsongas noted the Krusinski case as a clear example of the issue, saying that it also served to undermine progress in addressing the problem.

In response, Tsongas joined with Congressman Mike Turner (R-Ohio) in crafting a piece of legislation titled the "Better Enforcement for Sexual Assault Free Environements" or "BE SAFE" Act.

If passed, the act would not allow military tribunals to dismiss Courts Martial except in minor instances, and would results in an automatic dismissal or dishonrable discharge for those in the military found guilty of sexual assault, rape, or forcible sodomy.

Turner specifically mentioned an incident late last year involving the overturning of a military sexual assult conviction Lt. Gen Craig Franklin.

Since taking on this issue over 7 years ago, I have grown more troubled by the military’s resistance to change its culture," said Turner. "With the unilateral decision by Lt. Gen. Franklin to overturn a sexual assault conviction and rob a victim of justice, it was clear further legislative action was needed."

Tyler Jozefowicz May 13, 2013 at 12:28 PM
The military culture needs to change and Congresswomen Niki Tsongas' (D) proposed legislation is a step in the right direction. The statistics clearly show this. What military maggot would want to take advantage of some parent's kids that step up and want to serve their country , and become subjected to this.
Iron Mike May 13, 2013 at 12:32 PM
Rape anywhere is a terrible thing, - in the workplace, on college campuses, in city parks, or in the military. But Niki Tsongas seems fixated on it – as if there were NO OTHER ISSUE before us – or in her life. WHY? It would be nice if she would mention the murder trial of Kermit Gosnell – for killing babies, - or the Obama Cartel's cover-up of the Benghazi Massacre, - of the gun-smuggling by the ATF in Fast & Furious. But Tsongas remains fixated on rape, - while Obama-Clinton & Company rape US!

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