Sen. Claire McCaskill to tackle sex assault at college next

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Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, said Tuesday that she will now work to eliminate sex assault on college campuses following the “major, sweeping reforms” to the military sex assault system that passed the Senate on Monday.

“Women don’t want to come forward and talk about the most personally painful moment of their lives to be challenged about that,” she said on MSNBC. “We’ve got to create a system, and I spent years in the courtroom prosecuting these cases, where the victim gets good information, can report in a safe place and then be surrounded by their own counsel.”

Legislation authored by Mrs. McCaskill to improve the military justice system passed the Senate on Monday and will now move on to the House, where Speaker John A. Boehner has already said it isn’t necessary. The bill would eliminate the “good soldier” defense for sex assault crimes, give victims some say in where their case is tried and allow commanders to be graded on how well their command handles sex assault reports, building on changes that already became law in last year’s defense policy bill.

“It’s counterintuitive, but nonetheless true, that more cases will be tried, more victims will be protected by keeping those commanders accountable with a whole lot of checks and balances we’ve now put in the system,” she said.

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