Carson City, NV May 27, 2021
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed Senate Bill 28 into law. He was joined by Maj. Gen. Ondra Berry, Nevada Adjutant General, and Nevada Sexual Assault Response Coordinators Nikki Randel and Michelle Middleton.
The bill strengthens state law to establish a punitive punishment provision for sexual harassment and aligns Nevada military justice code with Department of Defense legal definitions for sexual assault and consent for members serving in the Nevada National Guard.
“As Governor, I strongly believe every Nevadan deserves to feel safe at their place of employment, and as commander-in-chief of the Nevada National Guard, I take the issue of sexual assault in our military very seriously,” said Gov. Sisolak. "I will continue to work diligently with the Adjutant General to ensure we do everything we can to protect survivors and develop measures that will prevent sexual assault and harassment in the force.”
Senate Bill 28 adds a specific punitive provision for sexual harassment, providing commanders with a more effective tool under the state’s military justice code for disciplining a service member who sexually harasses another member. Adding this provision positions the Nevada National Guard ahead of the active force when it comes to punishing sexual harassment because sexual harassment is not a specific punitive article under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
“The Nevada National Guard has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual assault and harassment in our ranks,” said Maj. Gen. Berry. “I’m proud of what’s been accomplished in the past year to increase our awareness and prevention activities. This bill is another critical step in our ongoing efforts and will help to ensure soldiers and airmen feel safe to come forward and disclose when they have been sexually assaulted or harassed.”
Additionally, members of the Nevada National Guard support a dual-hatted mission for the state and nation. The nearly 4,400 soldiers and airmen in the Nevada National Guard often deploy overseas in support of the federal government under Department of Defense policy and in the state under the Nevada military code of justice. The bill also aligns the state military justice code with federal policy to simplify legal analysis on whether a sexual assault occurred, as defined by the Department of Defense, not Nevada criminal statutes.
Photos of the bill signing can be found here: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/AKcoCDJKIj