Speier probing military sex crimes in Texas today

Rep. Jackie Speier is in Texas today as part of a congressional delegation investigating the biggest military sexual assault scandal in years.

Speier, D-San Mateo, along with fellow Armed Services Committee members Susan Davis, D-San Diego, and Loretta Sanchez, D-Garden Grove, will tour Lackland Air Force Base to meet with base leadership, military legal advocates, special investigators, training instructors and trainees to gauge the impact that the investigations and prosecutions are having on base personnel and trainees. The lawmakers also hope to determine what Lackland leadership is doing to address sexual misconduct cases moving forward.

Thus far, 19 military training instructors at Lackland have been investigated or prosecuted for rape, sexual assault, or sexual misconduct with 43 trainees.

Speier in June had called for a congressional hearing and investigation of the widespread scandal at the base; Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, hasn’t convened such a hearing. Speier also is the author of HR 3435, the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention (STOP) Act, which would overhaul how the military justice system treats cases of rape and sexual assault; the bill has been awaiting action by the Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee since February.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.