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Carter Introduces Bill to Help Prosecute Juvenile Sexual Assault Cases on Military Installations

(Washington, DC) –Congressman John Carter (TX-31) introduced legislation to assist in the prosecution of juvenile sexual assault cases on military bases last week. H.R. 5392, the Military Installation Non-Adult Offender Reform (MINOR) Act directs the Department of Defense to instruct military installations to enter into negotiations to reach agreements with local prosecutors on the referral of juvenile sexual assault cases.

 

“It is unacceptable that countless juvenile sexual assault cases that are occurring on-base are falling through the cracks because federal prosecutors are ill-equipped to take action,” Representative Carter said. “Last year, at my office’s urging, Fort Hood entered into a memorandum of understanding with local jurisdictions to set a standard to handle these juvenile crimes. This is an important first step to ensure justice, and it is imperative that it is implemented at all American military installations.

 

“As a retired judge, I oversaw hundreds of juvenile justice cases, and I know that sexual offenders are often repeat offenders. For that reason alone, it is imperative to quickly address juvenile sexual assault cases to prevent adult sexual criminals and more victims. It’s painfully obvious that the current system isn’t working, and something has to be done nationwide to ensure young victims receive justice, and young offenders receive appropriate sentencing before it’s too late.”

 

Background:

Currently, a dangerous loophole exists on our nation’s military installations: because they fall under the legal jurisdiction of the federal government, and there is no mechanism under federal law for trying juveniles for criminal acts (except as adults), juveniles are generally able to escape any legal consequences for acts committed on-post.  This legislation requires military installations to clearly define the referral process to local prosecutors, which are better equipped to handle these kinds of cases, and creates a standard so justice is served.  

 

Rep. Carter represents Texas District 31, which includes Fort Hood, the largest active duty armored military installation in the free world. He serves as Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Appropriations, co-chairman of the Congressional Army Caucus, is on the Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice and Science and the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.

 

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