VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - Harvey Bryant, Commonwealth's attorney for Virginia Beach has been selected to a Department of Defense panel on sexual assaults in the military.
According to a news release from Bryant's office, he will be serving on the Defense Department's "Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel," along with the following eight individuals:
- Former Representative Elizabeth Holtzman
- James Houck, vice admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
- Judge Barbara Jones, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Ret)
- David Lisak, Ph.D.
- Colleen McGuire, brigadier general, U.S. Army (Ret.)
- Melinda Dunn, brigadier general, U.S. Army (Ret.)
- Holly O'Grady Cook, colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.)
- Professor Elizabeth Hillman, Hastings Law School
The panel will conduct an independent review of the ways used to investigate, prosecute and adjudicate sexual assaults.
However, Bryant is the only current civilian prosecutor on the panel.
"Perhaps all the sexual assault cases or some category of cases would actually go into civilian courts to be handled which is certainly possible," Bryant told WAVY.com.
Trine McDonald told WAVY.com she was sexually assaulted several times during her service in the Navy. She said Bryant is on the right path to justice.
"I think it would be wonderful. I would love to see it get out of the chain of command," McDonald said. "I think that it opens up an opportunity for people to come forward. It opens up an opportunity for people who have been silent for so long."
The first meeting will be held no later than July 1, 2013.
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