Army Commander Suspended for Adultery Amid Wave of Sexual Assaults
On Tuesday, Brigadier General Bryan T Roberts was suspended from his position as commander of the Fort Jackson, South Carolina training camp which trains approximately 60% of incoming female recruits pending an investigation into allegations of adultery.
Roberts was suspended following allegations of "adultery and a physical altercation." Colonel Christian Kubik, an Army spokesperson for the Training and Doctrine Command, told reporters "We don't have any evidence of any sexual assault. The allegations we have indicate a breach of order and discipline." Adultery is punishable under Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice when a member of the Army who is married has sexual intercourse with another person, and the circumstances are determined to potentially discredit the military. Though the case does not involve sexual assault, Roberts' suspension is the latest scandal of sexual misconduct in the military.
Last week an Army Sergeant 1st Class Sexual Harassment/Assault Result Prevention (SHARP) Coordinator and Equal Opportunity Advisor at Fort Hood in Texas who is being investigated for sexual assault. According to a statement released by the Department of Defense (DoD) the service member in question is being investigated for allegations of "pandering, abusive sexual contact, assault and maltreatment of subordinates." Two weeks earlier, an Air Force chief of sexual assault prevention and response was arrested on charges of sexual battery. Lieutenant Colonel Jeffery Krusinski groped a woman in a parking lot. She fought him off when he attempted to grab her again and immediately alerted the police. An anonymous spokesperson for the Air Force confirmed that Krusinski had been dismissed from his post in response to the allegations.
In addition, the Department of Defense issued an annual report in the beginning of May that showed that sexual assault in the military rose by 35% from 2010 to 2012. The report found that 26,000 members of the military experienced "unwanted sexual contact" in 2012 when answering an anonymous survey - a rate of approximately 70 assaults a day. The report also found only 3,374 reports of sexual assault were filed, according to the Pentagon. Of those cases filed, fewer than one in 10 ended with a court-martial conviction of sexual assault. In the majority of cases, the alleged attacker faced small administrative punishments or the case was dismissed.
Media Resources: Los Angeles Times 5/21/2013; USA Today 5/21/2013; Washington Post 5/21/2013; Feminist Newswire 5/16/2013, 5/8/2013
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations.
Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .