VIRGINIA BEACH - Va. Beach Commonwealth's Attorney Harvey Bryant will help the Pentagon find ways to deal with the growing problem of sexual assault in the ranks.

Bryant is one of 9 people just appointed to the Department of Defense's 'Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel.'

The news comes as the Pentagon reported sexual assaults reported by members of the military rose from 3,192 to 3,374 in 2012. The department estimates that as many as 26,000 service members were assaulted, based on anonymous surveys.

In announcing the panel, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel vowed that commanders will be held responsible for sexual assaults under the DOD's new sexual assault prevention policy.

The group will review the systems used to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate crimes involving adult sexual assault and related offenses under article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

'The panel will consider some very challenging issues of great importance to the men and women of our armed forces and to the military justice system,' Bryant said.

The group's first meeting will be no later than July 1.

Bryant will leave his job as Commonwealth's Attorney for Va. Beach at the end of the year.

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
Harvey Bryant, Va. Beach Commonwealth's Attorney

Bryant was appointed to the panel by the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator James Inhofe.

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