The Army’s top sexual assault prosecutor has been suspended because he allegedly groped a female lawyer he supervised, Stars and Stripes reports, citing two unnamed sources with knowledge of the situation.
Lt. Col. Joseph “Jay” Morse, who is now under investigation, was in charge of supervising the Army’s special victims prosecutors. These prosecutors are in charge of cases involving sexual assault, domestic abuse, and crimes against children.
Chris Carroll and John Vandiver, reporting for Stars and Stripes, write:
… The female Army lawyer alleged that Morse attempted to kiss and grope her against her will. The alleged assault reportedly took place in a hotel room at a 2011 sexual assault legal conference attended by special victims prosecutors in Alexandria, Va., before he was appointed as chief of the Trial Counsel Assistance Program.
As of yet, no charges have been filed against Morse.
Morse’s suspension comes after an announcement from the Army that it was suspending 588 troops and employees who were in “positions of trust.” The move came after Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered military services to screen sexual assault counselors for members who were unfit to serve.
President Barack Obama has been putting pressure on the military to crack down on sexual crimes in its ranks. He recently signed a bill into law prohibiting military commanders from overturning jury convictions of sexual assault.
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