New corps of military lawyers help rape victims

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FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — As an Army general was on trial for sexual assault this month, a young military lawyer sat in the courtroom each day.

Capt. Cassie L. Fowler's sole mission was to protect the woman at the center of the case against Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair. The woman at the center of the case is a captain who said her commander twice forced her to perform oral sex and threatened to kill her if she told anyone about their three-year affair.

Known as a Special Victims Counsel, or SVC for short, Fowler is part of a program started by the Pentagon last year following longstanding complaints that the military has too often treated those reporting rapes and sexual assaults as if they were the ones who did something wrong.

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