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Washington D.C.
Cornyn Effort to Help Child Assault Victims on Military Bases Passes Senate
News Release
Wednesday, June 20, 2018

WASHINGTON – Provisions of a bipartisan bill authored by U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) to increase access to justice for young victims of sexual assault on military bases passed the Senate as a part of the National Defense Authorization Act.  The bill, the Children of Military Protection (COMP) Act, would close the jurisdictional gap across our military bases that has allowed juvenile perpetrators of sexual assault against other children on base to slip through the cracks without facing prosecution.

“Families whose children have been sexually assaulted on base by another child are forced to seek justice from federal prosecutors who often don’t have the resources to pursue the case,” Sen. Cornyn said. “This effort will allow local prosecutors to pursue these cases so families can get justice for their children, and I appreciate the support from my colleagues today.”

Background on the Children of Military Protection Act:

Victims of child-on-child sex assaults on military bases often never see their cases tried due to loopholes in the law. Historically, federal prosecutors have pursued roughly one in seven juvenile sexual assault cases presented from military investigators.  This prosecution rate is due, in part, to limited capacity for the federal system to handle these cases.  In exclusive federal jurisdictions, this system creates a black hole for juvenile justice as local prosecutors lack the legal authority to apply state laws to juvenile criminal conduct on federal lands.

The provisions of the Children of Military Protection (COMP) Act included in the NDAA would close the jurisdictional gap across our military installations and provide legal protections with congressional oversight to ensure these injustices do not continue. Specifically, it would retrocede legislative jurisdiction of criminal offenses committed by juveniles on military installations to the state, commonwealth, or territory in which the base is located. Senators Angus King (I-ME) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) were cosponsors of the original legislation.

Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, is a member of the Senate Finance, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees.

Remembering Jim Guidry

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