NEW YORK – A former staff member for Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign has been accused of sexual propositioning and unwanted touching by two cadets at The Citadel, South Carolina’s public military university.
The two men who reported four separate allegations of sexual misconduct in 2010 and 2011 to campus police do not want to pursue the case, and no criminal charges were filed, according to Service Women’s Action Network, which monitors such incidents.
The accused is a recent graduate of The Citadel, the national civil rights organization said.
“Values are instilled in future officers at institutions like The Citadel,” said Anu Bhagwati, executive director of Service Women’s Action Network and a former Marine Corps captain. “Military universities cultivate those who will become the leaders of the military, so in order to eliminate sexual assault in the military it must be eliminated at the schools first.”
The Citadel has kept the names of the victims and the accused confidential to protect the identities of the current cadets, but has asked the State Law Enforcement Division to investigate further.
The Citadel is currently facing civil suits concerning its failure to respond to reports of former cadet and camp counselor Louis “Skip” Reveille, sentenced this summer to 50 years in prison after pleading guilty to widespread sex abuse charges. Unlike students at federal service academies, students at state-supported military colleges can bring civil claims against their schools under Title IX (as well as Constitutional and tort claims). The Feres Doctrine prevents service members or students at federal service academies from pursuing civil remedies.
Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) is a national civil rights organization founded and led by women veterans. SWAN’s mission is to transform military culture by securing equal opportunity and the freedom to serve in uniform without discrimination, harassment or assault; and to reform veterans’ services to ensure high quality health care and benefits for women veterans and their families. You can follow Service Women’s Action Network on Twitter or on Facebook