Senate OKs Bill to Combat Military Sexual Assault
97-0 vote aims to scrap age-old ‘good soldier defense’
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
The Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill late today making big changes in the military justice system to deal with sexual assault, including scrapping the nearly century-old practice of using a “good soldier defense” to raise doubts that a crime has been committed. On a vote of 97-0, the Senate rallied behind a bipartisan plan crafted by three female senators—Democrat Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Republicans Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Deb Fischer of Nebraska—that would impose a half-dozen changes to combat the pervasive problem of rape and sexual offenses that Pentagon leaders have likened to a cancer within the ranks.