(WASHINGTON) — The Senate on Monday passed the military sexual assault bill, 97 to 0, eliminating the “good soldier defense,” but keeping any prosecutions of sexual assaults within the chain of command.
This legislation was an alternative to a measure the Senate narrowly blocked last week that sought to strip military commanders of their authority to prosecute sexual assaults.
The “good soldier defense” has been routinely used over the years, with soldiers holding sterling military records less likely to be prosecuted on assault complaints.
“It is not the end of this,” said Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., who along with Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., sponsored the measure.
She said the overwhelming support “shows the bipartisan commitment we have to stopping the scourge” of sexual assault in the military.
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