Report: Military pursued 70 percent more sexual assault cases last year

"It may be true that years ago some of these allegations weren't given the attention they deserved,” Victor Kelley, a defense attorney with the law firm National Military Justice Group, told McClatchy. “But now many of them are given more deference than they're due.”

The military says that the lower conviction rate shows the difficulty that comes with prosecuting sexual assault cases.

The issue of reforming the way the military handles sexual assault cases has been debated in Congress. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and others have called for an autonomous office that would handle the cases.