A California lawmaker is proposing a federal law that would protect U.S. service members who stick up for sexually abused children — an effort inspired by a Green Beret’s heroic defense of an Afghan boy.

Sgt. Charles Martland was nearly booted from the Army for roughing up an Afghan police chief who had abused a young boy in a practice known as “bachi bazi,” or “boy play.” Now, according to the lawmaker behind the proposal, the Taliban is exploiting the sick practice by sending young children onto Afghan military facilities to pose as “dancing boys” or “tea servers,” only to kill their would-be tormentors.

“According to reports, the Taliban is now regularly turning to child sex slaves to initiate insider attacks against Afghan forces,” Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., wrote in a recent letter to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter aimed at gaining support for his proposal. “In fact, one report cites at least six attacks between January and April that killed ‘hundreds’ of Afghans.

“This is concerning given our interests in Afghanistan, but it also requires serious attention due to the presence of U.S. forces and their ongoing mission to train, assist and advise the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces,” Hunter added.

In addition to vociferously defending Martland after the decorated Special Forces veteran was disciplined for the 2011 incident, Hunter has proposed a bill that would bear Martland’s name and enable soldiers and sailors to intervene when a child is being abused.

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