Dec. 11-12: Public Meeting of the Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel

The Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel, an independent panel of civilian and retired military representatives, will convene at The University of Texas at Austin December 11 and 12 in a public meeting to discuss the systems used in the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of crimes involving adult sexual assault and related offenses under military law.

The meeting, will take place from 8:20 am to 6 pm each day in Multipurpose Conference Room 207 of the San Jacinto Residence Hall, at the corner of San Jacinto and 21 Street. Issues and suggestions discussed or brought to the attention of the panel during the meeting will be considered in developing recommendations to improve the effectiveness of systems in the military dealing with adult sexual assault issues. See the announcement in the Federal Register with all details, including meeting times and agenda for each day.

“We are pleased to welcome the Response Systems Panel to The University of Texas for this important meeting” said Dr. Noël Busch-Armendariz, Associate Dean for Research at the School of Social Work and director of the Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. “Our research indicates that the professionals in the response systems need better tools and strategies to more effectively address the pervasiveness and complexity of this crime. This public meeting and the ultimate panel recommendations to Congress will shift the military response. These recommendations will be a pivot toward justice for victims and accountability for offenders.”

The format for the meetings is a discussion among panelists who include Secretary of Defense appointees and Congressional appointees. The public may submit written comments and requests for oral presentations by emailing the Deputy Staff Director at at least 5 business days prior to the meeting. All written comments will be treated as public documents. Upon prior written request, oral presentations by members of the public will be permitted each day during the last fifteen minutes of the meeting, on a first-come basis.

Panel members appointed by the Secretary of Defense include the Honorable Barbara S. Jones, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (retired); Mai Fernandez, executive director of the National Center for Victims of Crime; Former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman; Vice Admiral James Houck, U.S. Navy (retired); and Brigadier General Colleen McGuire, U.S. Army (retired).

Congressional appointees include: Harvey Bryant, commonwealth’s attorney of Virginia Beach; Brigadier General Malinda Dunn, U.S. Army (retired); Colonel Holly Cook, U.S. Army (retired); and Professor Elizabeth Hillman of the Hastings Law School.