Associate Dean Keith Harrison was recently appointed by the Secretary of Defense to serve on the Defense Advisory Committee on Investigation, Prosecution, and Defense of Sexual Assault in the Armed Forces (the Committee).
The Committee was established by the Secretary of Defense in February 2016 as required by section 546 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 and section 537 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016. The Committee is tasked to advise the Secretary of Defense on the investigation, prosecution, and defense of allegations of rape, forcible sodomy, sexual assault, and other sexual misconduct involving members of the Armed Forces based on its review of such cases on an ongoing basis.
The Committee held its first public meeting on January 19, 2017 in Arlington, Virginia. At this meeting, the Committee received informational presentations on the court-martial process, recent legislation involving sexual assault in the U.S. military, and the results of two predecessor Department of Defense advisory committees on sexual assault.
The Committee plans to meet quarterly and is currently developing a strategic plan for its review and assessment of sexual misconduct in the Armed Forces. The Committee is required to issue annual reports detailing its activities from the preceding year. The Committee’s initial report will be released by March 30, 2017.