DOD Releases Annual Sexual Assault Response and Prevention Report

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The Department of Defense today released the fiscal 2011 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, as required by the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2011.  To date, this is the eighth report DoD has released.

The report finds that in fiscal 2011, there were a total of 3,192 reports of sexual assault involving service members as either victims or subjects.  This represents a one percent increase in reports of sexual assault compared to fiscal 2010.

“Sexual assault has no place in this department.  It is an affront to the basic American values we defend, and to the good honor of our service members and their families,” said Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta.  “Since taking this office, I’ve made it one of my top priorities to do everything we can to reduce and prevent sexual assault, to make victims of sexual assault feel secure enough to report this crime without fear of retribution or harm to their career, and to hold the perpetrators appropriately accountable.  I will be announcing the next series of steps the department will be taking early next week during consultations with Congress.”

The report also details actions taken against the subjects investigated as a result of these reports.  In fiscal 2011, the department had jurisdiction and sufficient evidence to take disciplinary action against 791 subjects for a sexual assault offense.  Of these subjects, 489, or 62 percent had courts-martial charges preferred against them.  That represents a 10 percentage point increase in the rate of courts-martial charges preferred compared to fiscal 2010.  The proportion of military subjects against whom commanders decided to take disciplinary action for sexual assault offenses by preferring court-martial charges has increased steadily since fiscal 2007, when only 30 percent of subjects had charges initiated against them.

Since August 2011, a two star general has overseen the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office and under the leadership of the secretary of defense, several new victim-focused policies have been implemented since the end of fiscal 2011.  These included expanded legal assistance, expedited transfers for victims of sexual assault, and extended retention of forensic examination and investigative reports.

Other new initiatives to enhance how the department prevents and responds to sexual assault include:

  •             –  Establishment of a sexual assault advocate credentialing and certification program;
  •             –  Expansion of sexual assault support services to military spouses and adult military dependents;
  •             –  Expansion of emergency care and support services to DoD civilians stationed abroad and DoD U.S. citizen contractors in combat areas;
  •             –  Increased funding for investigators and judge advocates to receive additional specialized training;
  •             –  Implementation of an integrated data system for tracking sexual assault reports and managing cases; and
  •             –  Assessment of how the department trains commanding officers and senior enlisted leaders on sexual assault prevention and response.

“As this report makes clear, we have more work to do to confront this problem.  There are no easy answers, but that makes it all the more essential for us to devote our energy and our attention to trying to confront this challenging crime,” Panetta said.

The complete report is available at www.sapr.mil and you can view a fact sheet of the report at Ssexual assault annual report fact sheet.pdf .  For specific information regarding the military departments, contact the Army at 703-697-2564, the Navy at 703-697-5342, and the Air Force at 703-695-0640.





Robert B. Jacobs: Loans are complex

Oakland Tribune October 2, 2011 | Robert B Jacobs This is the first of two articles about promissory notes and deeds of trust.

Anybody who has borrowed money from a commercial lender knows that the stack of paper concerning such a loan is substantial. There are often disclosures, agreements, and all sorts of papers that accompany such a loan. Most people seem to place them in a folder and tuck them somewhere deep in their filing system.

It seems like most of the time the purpose for all of these papers isn’t really described in any detail — it’s just that the papers are there, they are part of the loan process, and they often must be signed or the lender won’t make the loan. So at the end of the day, a borrower often ends up with a stack of paper, and doesn’t have a good idea why they are necessary, or why the they’ve been asked to sign all of them. website deed of trust

Two of the most important documents in any real estate loan are the loan document and the security instrument. The loan document evidences the loan, and is sometimes called an agreement, a loan agreement, a promissory note or something similar.

Borrowers might talk about receiving a mortgage but in California most borrowers won’t be able to find a document called a mortgage in those papers.

That’s because mortgages can be used, but common practice in California is to use a deed of trust instead. It’s a security instrument for the loan, which means that the lender can look to the security for payment if the borrower doesn’t repay the loan. Most often the lender looks to the security for repayment through foreclosure. in our site deed of trust

Sometimes the relationship between the promissory note and the deed of trust is not well-understood. Borrowers can mistakenly think that the deed of trust is the actual loan document. But in most cases, a deed of trust only serves as security for the loan.

A deed of trust transfers a present interest in the property to the lender (the lender is typically the beneficiary under the deed of trust). When a loan is repaid, a deed of trust isn’t canceled or terminated. Instead, the lender gives back to the borrower the property interest the lender received under the deed of trust.

So what happens if a lender gives the deed of trust back to the borrower but the loan isn’t repaid? A lender can return to the borrower the property interest that the lender received under the deed of trust — and the lender can return this property interest to the borrower whether the loan has been repaid. If a lender returns a deed of trust to a borrower without repayment, does that mean that the loan is considered to be repaid as well?

We will address this question next week.

Robert B. Jacobs practices real estate, business and construction law in the Bay Area. Contact Jacobs at [email protected] or www.RBJLaw.com. The foregoing article is not a complete discussion of the subject addressed, and should not be relied on.

Robert B Jacobs

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