Turner Provisions in FY09 Defense Authorization Bill Seek to Improve Military Sexual Assault Protection Procedures
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael R. Turner successfully advocated for provisions included in the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that will seek to improve sexual assault protection procedures in the military. Congressman Turner has worked with the Lauterbach family to address this issue following the tragic rape and murder of Marine Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach.
“For months, Mary Lauterbach and I have been working together to review the system which left her daughter vulnerable to the tragedy which befell her. I was pleased that my colleagues agreed that the Military Protective Orders (MPO) currently in use by the military do not provide sufficient protection to our men and women in uniform. Several Members of Congress who met with Mary Lauterbach and others familiar with Maria’s case understood the need for change,” Rep. Turner said. “I believe we need a comprehensive review of sexual assaults in the military. Once that review is complete, I expect more extensive changes to military laws and policies will be recommended.”
The provisions Congressman Turner included in the NDAA will require that military protective orders be made into standing orders and will require civilian authorities to be notified whenever an MPO is issued and affects off-base personnel. The MPOs issued for Maria Lauterbach following her allegation of rape were allowed to expire on two separate occasions.
“The safety and security of our troops are among the most important responsibilities for Members of Congress,” Rep. Turner said. “I will continue to push for changes on this issue.”