Wow, the hits just keep on coming. This week it's the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where a sergeant is accused of videotaping and peeping on female cadets.
The Army is contacting about a dozen women to alert them that their privacy may have been violated by the suspect, identified as Sgt. First Class Michael McClendon, and to offer support or counseling, officials said.
The allegations at West Point, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious military academy, come in the midst of growing outrage in Congress at the Pentagon, and from President Obama over reports of sexual harassment and assault in the armed services. They also come as the Army has begun integrating women into combat positions, bringing added demands for fair and equal treatment of those in uniform.
The revelations are especially startling at West Point, which has had problems with sexual assault but also has many progressive faculty members and prides itself on having an environment of discipline and respect. Women have been enrolled at the two-century-old institution, on a commanding bank of the Hudson River in upstate New York, for nearly 40 years.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who is to deliver the commencement address at West Point on Saturday, was briefed on the case Wednesday morning. Pentagon officials described him as “concerned and disturbed” by the allegations.