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Senate Armed Services Rejects Gillibrand on Sex-Assault Measure

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York, proposed that such cases be handled by independent military prosecutors, a change opposed by top military leaders. Photographer: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

By David Lerman

June 12 (Bloomberg) -- The Senate Armed Services Committee rejected Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s measure to take sex-assault cases and other major crimes in the U.S. military out of the chain of command

Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, proposed that such cases be handled by independent military prosecutors, a change opposed by top military leaders.

The panel voted, 17-9, to accept instead an alternative by Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who heads the committee. His measure would require high-level review whenever a commanding officer decided against pursuing prosecution of a sex-assault allegation.

Levin was joined in opposing Gillibrand’s approach by members including Senator Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, who has been among women in the Senate demanding stronger action to act on sexual wrongdoing in the military.

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