31 March 2014

New corps of U.S. military lawyers help rape victims | RallyPoint.com

Military News - New corps of U.S. military lawyers help rape victims

Image Copyright: Andrew Craft / The Fayetteville Observer via AP

By Michael Biesecker and Emery P. Dalesio
Copyright: The Associated Press

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — As an Army general faced court-martial for sexual assault this month, a young military lawyer sat each day in the front row of the gallery, a few feet behind the prosecutors.

Unlike lawyers trying to win a criminal conviction against Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair, Capt. Cassie L. Fowler’s sole mission was to protect the woman at the center of the case — a young captain who said her commander twice forced her to perform oral sex and threatened to kill her if she told anyone about their three-year affair.

Known as a Special Victims Counsel, or SVC for short, Fowler is part of a program started by the Pentagon last year following longstanding complaints that the military has too often treated those reporting rapes and sexual assaults as if they were the ones who did something wrong.

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