Military's punishment for sexual assault inadequate

BY YOUR NAME Staff Writer Published: February 2, 2014

I'm furious after reading “Military court convicts two in sexual misconduct cases” (News, Jan. 28). Justin L. Vetter was accused of assaulting a fellow soldier who was incapable of giving her consent due to impairment. He was convicted of adultery. Vito Asaro was accused of exposing himself, having sexual contact with an incapacitated soldier, striking the soldier in the face with his fist, then drawing on the soldier's face with a marker. He was convicted of abusive sexual contact. This is not adultery and sexual misconduct. This is rape! A reduction in rank, temporary restriction to barracks, hard labor and forfeiture of pay are slightly more than a slap on the wrist.

President Obama has vowed to continue to combat sexual assault in the military, calling these attacks “an injustice that no one who volunteers to protect our nation should ever endure.” Last month he gave military leaders a year to conduct a comprehensive review of the establishment's sexual assault response and prevention programs after several high profile military cases drew public scrutiny throughout 2013. Which part of this initiative does the military court not understand?

Connie Rocha, Oklahoma City


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