Ryan Sponsors Bill To Assist Sexual Assault Victims

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Congressman Tim Ryan has co-sponsored a bill that would provide a Special Victim’s Counsel for victims of sexual assault in the military.

Ryan, D-Niles, and Congresswoman Kay Granger, R-Texas, introduced on Wednesday the Combating Military Sexual Assault Act of 2013.

According to a news release, the bill directs the Department of Defense to provide the special counsel to sexual assault victims and also implements “other significant reforms to prevent sexual assaults and assist victims.”

Part of the act would provide legal counsel to assist victims through all military and civil proceedings. Each member appointed to the special counsel must be approved by the Judge Advocate General.

“Recent events make it absolutely clear that the time for action to address the military sexual assault crisis is now,” said Ryan.

The latest case of sexual assault in the military surrounds allegations against an Army sergeant first class at Fort Hood in Texas.

It’s the second time this month that a member of the armed forces who’d been assigned to help prevent sexual assaults in the military is under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct.

According to a defense official, the sergeant, who hasn’t been named, is facing allegations involving three women, including that he may have arranged for one of them to have sex for money.

The official says it’s not yet clear if the sergeant forced the woman into what may have been prostitution.

According to the official, the sergeant is also being investigated for allegedly sexually assaulting one of the other two women.

The allegations involving a third woman weren’t known.

Last week, an Air Force officer who headed a sexual assault prevention office was arrested on charges of groping a woman in a Northern Virginia parking lot.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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