Dem calls for new efforts to stop sexual assault in the military

"The best and the brightest the Air Force has to offer to run this office, and he's a sexual predator?" Speier said on the House floor, standing next to a large photo of Krusinski. "Is that what we're talking about?

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"This is an indictment of the SAPRO Office that is supposed to be the solution for military rape and assault," she added, referring to the DOD's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office.

Speier said some of the responsibility lies with Congress, which has made token efforts to stop sexual assault in the military. "We are big on holding hearings and beating our chests and saying, 'This has got to stop,'" she said.

She said the DOD's report showing that there were about 26,000 rapes and sexual assaults in 2012, up from 19,000 in 2011, is more proof that legislation passed so far has done nothing.

"For all the money we've been throwing at this issue, for all the prevention, and all the rehabilitation and all of the training, the numbers keep going up," she said.

"This is an institution of military good discipline, good order? It is time for us to roll up our sleeves and do something real about this."

Speier suggested that Congress pass a bill she introduced in April, H.R. 1593, the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act. That bill would take sexual assault cases out of the chain of command and set up a Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Council.

The mostly civilian group would review and investigate offenses, and a new Director of Military Prosecutions would oversee their prosecution.

"Until we do something like this, the numbers of sexual assaults will continue to rise in the military," she said.

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