Bipartisan Senators Introduce Legislation To Close Loophole On Military Sexual Assault Reporting

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) introduced legislation to close a legal loophole that currently enables sex offenders convicted under the Uniform Military Code of Justice (UCMJ) to evade registration with the National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR).  In August, the Department of Defense Inspector General completed an investigation of sexual offender tracking in the military, noting the alarmingly low self-reporting rates and providing a list of suggested solutions for improving tracking.

“The bill I introduced today closes a horrendous gap that currently exists in identifying and tracking known sex offenders – a gap that should have been closed a long time ago,” said Senator Burr. “Congress should act swiftly to send this legislation to the President’s desk before another predator exploits this loophole and strikes again.”

“We’ve got to close this egregious loophole that’s allowed convicted sex offenders to evade detection when they re-enter society,” said McCaskill, a former sex crimes prosecutor. “Tracking these folks should be a top public safety priority and this legislation provides the tools for law enforcement to properly monitor and identify these criminals.”

The Military Sex Offender Reporting Act will require the Department of Defense (DoD) to register offenders directly with the FBI National Crime Information Center (NCIC) prior to the offender’s release from a Military Corrections Facility (MCF) or upon conviction if incarceration was not required.  Currently, sex offenders convicted in the military justice system must self-report after release, whereas other sex offenders are reported prior to release.  A recent Scripps investigation found that this loophole has enabled hundreds of convicted sex offenders to evade registering and allowed some to commit horrendous crimes again.