Military leaders wary of changes in sexual assault policy

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Associated Press has learned that leaders of the military services have expressed reservations to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin about removing sexual assault cases from the chain of command. They are telling Austin that efforts to revamp the process could decrease the number of prosecutions, delay cases and potentially provide less help for victims. In memos to Austin, the service leaders indicate they are open to changes in the military justice system, but they also explain their concerns with the growing push to shift prosecution decisions on sexual assault and possibly other major crimes to independent judge advocates.