Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sex offenses by National Guard personnel not in federal service

Iowa State Sen. Steve Sodders
Iowa state senator Steve Sodders has proposed legislation to amend the Iowa Code of Military Justice to require National Guard officials to report sexual assaults to civilian law enforcement authorities for civilian prosecution. The change would apply to personnel who are on duty with the National Guard when not in federal service (and hence who are not subject to the federal Uniform Code of Military Justice). The maximum military justice penalties for offenses committed by National Guard personnel not in federal service are very low. Under Iowa law, for example:

         Subject to section 29B.16, general courts-martial have
      jurisdiction to try persons subject to this code for any offense made
      punishable by this code and may, under such limitations as the
      adjutant general may prescribe, adjudge any one or a combination of
      the following punishments:
         1.  A fine of not more than five thousand dollars.
         2.  Forfeiture of not more than twenty days' pay and allowances.
         3.  A reprimand.
         4.  Dismissal or dishonorable discharge.
         5.  Reduction of a noncommissioned officer to the ranks.  

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