Changes being made to law protecting military sexual assault victims

Local News

 It has been over ten years since Maria Lauterbach and her unborn child were murdered in North Carolina.

Local congressman Mike Turner and her mother, Mary Lauterbach, have carried on her legacy, enacting a bill to hopefully save the lives of future sexual assault victims in uniform. 

Today, those continuing to change the way the department of defense handles those sexual assault cases held a press conference discussing problems that have arisen from the near-decade old bill, and how they are combating them.

In 2007, Maria Lauterbach reported sexual assault and requested a base transfer which was denied, leaving her in close proximity to her assaulter.

Since her death, her mother has worked with Turner to get that law changed where victims can now seek expedited transfer.

“Just last year I had the opportunity to go to bases both in Korea and Japan to speak, and at both of those places, women came up to me and said expedited base transfer saved their life,” said Mary Lauterbach.

In the news conference held May 1, Turner explained even with that law passed, those who report sexual assault in context of domestic violence had not been permitted the expedited transfer, bringing forth the Persist against Military Sexual Assault Act.

“We have dropped legislation that would close that loophole and would make certain that those who are subject to domestic violence also have the ability as victims of sexual assault to seek expedited transfer,” said Turner.

Turner added this will be included in the National Defense Authorization Act that will go in front of the House of Representatives next week. 

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