A U.S. Senate subcommittee on Thursday said it was probing the U.S. Coast Guard of recent revelations that it failed to properly handle dozens of sexual assaults. Photo by CJ Gunther/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 15 (UPI) — A U.S. Senate subcommittee has launched a review of the U.S. Coast Guard’s handling of dozens of reported sexual assaults committed at its training academy over three decades that were only recently made known to Congress.
In a letter addressed to Coast Guard Adm. Linda Fagan, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations announced its review while requesting documents related to Operation Fouled Anchor, a Coast Guard investigation into the allegations that was completed in January 2020 but not disclosed to Congress or the public until reported on by CNN in late June.
The secret investigative operation learned that between 1990 and 2006, there were 43 reported victims of sexual assault at the academy with a total 63 potential victims identified.
The report states that the Coast Guard was aware of 30 of the victims at the time they were abused but only five were reported to its investigative services or law enforcement.
It continues that the investigation revealed that “organization and CGA reputation during this period often weighed against initiation of a criminal investigation and took precedence over concern of the victim.”
Other documents requested of the Coast Guard by the subcommittee include all academy policies, all records related to its 90-Day Accountability and Transparency review and records related to each initiated, ongoing or complete investigation of sexual assault at the academy from 2006 to present.
In the letter, subcommittee chairman Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and ranking member Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said many questions remain unanswered.
“While Operation Fouled Anchor was concluded in 2020, the leaders who oversaw or perhaps created the environment where misconduct occurred and did nothing must be held accountable,” they said in the letter. “It is unclear whether those responsible have continued their careers in the Coast Guard, received higher positions of authority or left service and escaped accountability all together.
“The public deserves to know why so many reported cases of sexual assault and harassment were allowed to go uninvestigated for so many years.”
After the investigation became public, the Coast Guard issued an apology, stating it “fully recognizes that by not having taken appropriate action at the time of the sexual assaults the Coast Guard may have further traumatized the victims, delayed access to their care and recovery and prevented some cases from being referred to the military justice system for appropriate accountability.”
>>> Read full article>>>
Copyright for syndicated content belongs to the linked Source : Upi.com – https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2023/09/15/Senate-probe-Coast-Guard-sexual-assault/5011694763327/