President signs bill containing Hartzler's Hallowed Grounds Act
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler's (MO-4) Hallowed Grounds Act language has been signed into law by President Barack Obama as part of S.3202, the Dignified Burial of Veterans Act of 2012. The Hallowed Grounds Act will prohibit criminals classified as Tier III sex offenders under the Sex Offender Registry and Notification Act who have been sentenced to a minimum of life imprisonment from being buried at any veterans or national cemetery. A Tier III sex offender is one whose offenses against a child might include the crimes of aggravated sexual abuse or sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact.
"I am pleased that President Obama has signed this important legislation into law," said Hartzler. "The previous law affording military honors to veterans convicted of sexual abuse was an injustice to the victims and an affront to all who have given their lives in service to this country."
"This law is the culmination of an effort that began in 2011 at town hall in Osceola when a constituent told the sad story of being sexually abused by her father when she was a child," continued Hartzler. "Her father, a veteran, was buried with full honors in a national cemetery. She asked for my help to do something to ensure no other child has to endure this injustice."
Congresswoman Hartzler, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, represents Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District – home to Whiteman Air Force Base and Fort Leonard Wood.