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Committee Passes Bill to Address Sexual Assaults

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A House committee is responding to the growing number of sexual assaults in the armed forces by stripping military commanders of their authority to reverse convictions in rape and assault cases.

The measure approved Wednesday by the House Armed Services Committee also requires that anyone found guilty of rape or sexual assault receive a punishment that includes, at a minimum, a dismissal from military service or a dishonorable discharge.
  
Ohio Republican Rep. Michael Turner says the bill sends a clear message: If service members commit a sex-related crime, they're out.
  
Turner and Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Niki Tsongas wrote many of the provisions in the bill.
  
The legislation will be added to a broader 2014 defense policy bill that the full House is expected to vote on next week.

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