S.1917 - Victims Protection Act of 2014
A bill to provide for additional enhancements of the sexual assault prevention and response activities of the Armed Forces.
|Version||Word Count||Changes From Previous Version||Percent Change|
|Referred in House||2,271||5 Show Changes Hide Changes||5%|
|Engrossed in Senate||2,244||8||3%|
|Placed on Calendar Senate||2,322||n/a||n/a|
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Referred to the Committee on Armed Services, and in addition to the Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concernedCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
SEC. 2. INCLUSION OF SENIOR TRIAL COUNSEL DETERMINATIONS ON REFERRAL OF CASES TO TRIAL BY COURT-MARTIAL IN CASES REVIEWED BY SECRETARIES OF MILITARY DEPARTMENTS.
SEC. 3. ADDITIONAL ENHANCEMENTS OF MILITARY DEPARTMENT ACTIONS ON SEXUAL ASSAULT PREVENTION AND RESPONSE.
(a) Additional Duty of Special Victims’ Counsel- In addition to any duties authorized by
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretaries of the military departments shall each establish a process to ensure consultation with the victim of a covered sexual offense that occurs in the United States with respect to the victim’s preference as to whether the offense should be prosecuted by court-martial or by a civilian court with jurisdiction over the offense.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) WEIGHT AFFORDED PREFERENCE- The preference expressed by a victim under paragraph (1) with respect to the prosecution of an offense, while not binding, should be afforded great weight in the determination whether to prosecute the offense by court-martial or by a civilian court.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) NOTICE TO VICTIM OF LACK OF CIVILIAN CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AFTER PREFERENCE FOR SUCH PROSECUTION- In the event a victim expresses a preference under paragraph (1) in favor of prosecution of an offence by civilian court and the civilian authorities determine to decline prosecution, or defer to prosecution by court-martial, the victim shall be promptly notified of that determination.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) APPRAISALS OF ALL MEMBERS ON COMPLIANCE WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT PREVENTION AND RESPONSE PROGRAMS- The Secretaries of the military departments shall each ensure that the written performance appraisals of members of the Armed Forces (whether officers or enlisted members) under the jurisdiction of such Secretary include an assessment of the extent to which each such member supports the sexual assault prevention and response program of the Armed Force concerned.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS OF COMMANDING OFFICERS- The Secretaries of the military departments shall each ensure that the performance appraisals of commanding officers under the jurisdiction of such Secretary indicate the extent to which each such commanding officer has or has not established a command climate in which--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) a victim can report criminal activity, including sexual assault, without fear of retaliation, including ostracism and group pressure from other members of the command.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) ASSESSMENTS REQUIRED- The Secretaries of the military departments shall each establish a process whereby a command climate assessment is performed following an incident involving a covered sexual offense for each of the command of the accused and the command of the victim. If the accused and the victim are within the same command, only a single climate assessment is required. The process shall ensure the timely completion of command climate assessments for provision to military criminal investigation organizations and commanders pursuant to paragraph (2).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) PROVISION TO MILITARY CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION ORGANIZATIONS AND COMMANDERS- A command climate assessment performed pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be provided to the following:CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretaries of the military departments shall each establish a confidential process, through boards for the correction of military records of the military department concerned, by which an individual who was the victim of a covered sexual offense during service in the Armed Forces may challenge, on the basis of being the victim of such an offense, the terms or characterization of the individual’s discharge or separation from the Armed Forces.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) CONSIDERATION OF INDIVIDUAL EXPERIENCES IN CONNECTION WITH OFFENSES- In deciding whether to modify the terms or characterization of an individual’s discharge or separation pursuant to the process required by paragraph (1), the Secretary of the military department concerned shall instruct boards to give due consideration to the psychological and physical aspects of the individual’s experience in connection with the offense concerned, and to what bearing such experience may have had on the circumstances surrounding the individual’s discharge or separation from the Armed Forces.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) PRESERVATION OF CONFIDENTIALITY- Documents considered and decisions rendered pursuant to the process required by paragraph (1) shall not be made available to the public, except with the consent of the individual concerned.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) An attempt to commit an offense specified in paragraph (1) or (2) as punishable under
(g) Modification of Military Rules of Evidence Relating to Admissibility of General Military Character Toward Probability of Innocence- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, Rule 404(a) of the Military Rules of Evidence shall be modified to clarify that the general military character of an accused is not admissible for the purpose of showing the probability of innocence of the accused, except that evidence of a trait of the military character of an accused may be offered in evidence by the accused when that trait is relevant to an element of an offense for which the accused has been charged.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 4. APPLICABILITY OF SEXUAL ASSAULT PREVENTION AND RESPONSE AND RELATED MILITARY JUSTICE ENHANCEMENTS TO MILITARY SERVICE ACADEMIES.
(a) Military Service Academies- The Secretary of the military department concerned shall ensure that the provisions of title XVII of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 (as amended by this Act) and this Act apply to the United States Military Academy, the Naval Academy, and the Air Force Academy, as applicable.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) Coast Guard Academy- The Secretary of Homeland Security shall ensure that the provisions of title XVII of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 (as so amended) and this Act apply to the Coast Guard Academy.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 5. COLLABORATION BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AND THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IN EFFORTS TO PREVENT AND RESPOND TO SEXUAL ASSAULT.
(a) Strategic Framework on Collaboration Required- Not later than 270 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense and the Attorney General shall jointly develop a strategic framework for ongoing collaboration between the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice in their efforts to prevent and respond to sexual assault. The framework shall be based on and include the following:CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) An assessment of the role of the Department of Justice in investigations and prosecutions of sexual assault cases in which the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice have concurrent jurisdiction, with the assessment to include a review of and list of recommended revisions to relevant Memoranda of Understanding and related documents between the Department of Justice and the Department of Defense.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) An assessment of the feasibility of establishing the position of advisor on military sexual assaults within the Department of Justice (using existing Department resources and personnel) to assist in the activities required under paragraph (1) and provide to the Department of Defense investigative and other assistance in sexual assault cases occurring on domestic and overseas military installations over which the Department of Defense has primary jurisdiction, with the assessment to address the feasibility of maintaining representatives or designees of the advisor at military installations for the purpose of reviewing cases of sexual assault and providing assistance with the investigation and prosecution of sexual assaults.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) An assessment of the number of unsolved sexual assault cases that have occurred on military installations, and a plan, with appropriate benchmarks, to review those cases using currently available civilian and military law enforcement resources, such as new technology and forensics information.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(5) Mechanisms to promote information sharing and best practices between the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice on prevention and response to sexual assault, including victim assistance through the Violence against Women Act and Office for Victims of Crime programs of the Department of Justice.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) Report- The Secretary of Defense and the Attorney General shall jointly submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the framework required by subsection (a). The report shall--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 6. MODIFICATION OF DEADLINE FOR REPORT ON NEED FOR PUNITIVE UCMJ ARTICLE ON INAPPROPRIATE CONTACT WITH PROSPECTIVE AND NEW MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES.
SEC. 7. SENSE OF SENATE ON INDEPENDENT PANEL ON REVIEW AND ASSESSMENT ON RESPONSE SYSTEMS TO SEXUAL ASSAULT CRIMES.
(1) the panel to review and assess the systems used to respond to sexual assault established by section 576 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (
(3) the panel should include in its assessment under subsection (d)(1) of section 576 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 a review of the reforms that will be enacted pursuant to title XVII of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 (as amended by this Act) and this Act; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
Secretary. 113th CONGRESS 2d Session S. 1917 AN ACT