Proposed Bill Would Get Rid of "Good Soldier Defense" in Military Sexual Assault Cases

A new bill proposed last week – on Monday, May 5th – would prevent service members facing sexual assault allegations from using the "good soldier defense." This means that there would be no consideration of a service member's military character when deciding whether they should be prosecuted for sexual assault.

The 2015 Defense authorization bill, which was released by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, also calls for additional changes. Under the proposed rules, victims of sexual assaults would be entitled to a review of the terms of discharge to prevent retaliation for reporting an assault. Additionally, victims would have an influence on their preference for prosecuting offenders, either by court-martial or through civilian legal proceedings.

The new bill comes days after the Department of Justice released a new report detailing a 50% increase in the number of reports for military sexual assault. After the report was released, lawmakers and advocates expressed concerns regarding low prosecution and conviction rates. The new bill addresses these concerns by focusing on the need to pursue prosecutions.

Joseph L. Jordan, Attorney at Law, has years of experience representing military members charged with various crimes, including sexual assault. According to Attorney Jordan, the new proposed bill could mean big changes to how the military handles sexual assault cases and how it treats accused individuals.

If you would like more information about military sexual assault and how an experienced military criminal defense lawyer can help, call (888) 616-6177 or fill out a free case evaluation form. Attorney Jordan represents members of all military branches nationwide and around the world.