HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal is co-sponsoring federal legislation that would remove the influence of the military’s chain of command from the prosecution of certain sexual assault crimes.
He also wants measures to combat military sexual assault included in the new National Defense Authorization Act, such as establishing a victims’ compensation system, a crime victims’ rights ombudsman and mandatory punitive discharge for sexual assault convictions.
The Democrat is scheduled to join sexual assault victim advocates to discuss his efforts during a news conference on Friday at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
On Thursday, President Barack Obama pledged to “leave no stone unturned” in the effort to halt sexual abuse in the armed services. A recent Pentagon report showed up to 26,000 military members may have been sexually assaulted last year.