Hagel: Let commanders deal with sexual assault

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Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 12:00 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Military commanders must remain part of the legal process in dealing with major crimes in the ranks such as sexual assault, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told lawmakers Wednesday.

Hagel’s remarks came as Congress weighs legislative proposals to deal with the epidemic of sexual assaults in the armed forces. His comments are a tacit endorsement for a proposal by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., that would undercut ambitious legislation to halt the growing number of sexual assaults by overhauling the military justice system. Levin is the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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