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    Coast Guard Sexual Assault Victims Can Now Report the Crime Without Being Punished for Minor Misconduct

    Coast Guard Sexual Assault Victims Can Now Report the Crime Without Being Punished for Minor Misconduct

    The Coast Guard has announced a policy requiring commanders to disregard “minor” misconduct — including underage drinking or fraternizing — by victims or witnesses in sexual assault cases to encourage reporting of such crimes.

    The regulation is known as “Safe-to-Report” and the other service branches under the Defense Department adopted it more than two years ago. The Coast Guard announced the policy Feb. 1 in a servicewide message.

    The Coast Guard's adoption follows a scandal in which the service investigated 102 cases of rape or sexual assault at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy from 1988 through 2006 but concealed the results of the review, dubbed “Operation Fouled Anchor.” The investigation and cover-up were exposed last June in reporting by CNN.

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    Now, victims and witnesses in the service — including active-duty and reserve members, as well as Coast Guard Academy cadets and recruits — who report a sexual assault will not be subject to discipline for what the policy calls “minor collateral misconduct.”

    Under the requirement, commanders are to consult with a staff judge advocate to decide whether the misconduct is “minor” or “non-minor,” taking into account a number of considerations to determine if that person should be subject to discipline.

    Commanders have “considerable discretion” to decide whether an offense is…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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