Capitol Corridors

April 14, 2013

Washington Bureau


Reps. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, and Niki Tsongas, D-Mass., sent a letter last week reacting with anger to the news that a commander overturned an Air Force officer’s court-martial conviction for sexual assault, sending a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel expressing their dismay.

The duo, co-chairs of a caucus aimed at eliminating sexual assault in the military, said the decision to overturn the court-martial conviction “seriously degrades confidence in our military justice system and compromises the rights of victims of sexual assault.”

The commander, they wrote “supplanted his personal judgment for that of the independent judicial body which is trained and tasked with evaluating all evidence before the court and making an impartial and factual determination.”

The two argued that the decision “reinforces the importance” of reforming the military’s handling of sexual assault cases.