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    Federal Legislation Proposed to Protect Coast Guard Academy Cadets Who File Sexual Assault Reports

    Federal Legislation Proposed to Protect Coast Guard Academy Cadets Who File Sexual Assault Reports

    , Conn. — Bipartisan federal legislation was introduced Tuesday that would protect cadets at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy who report a sexual assault from being disciplined for minor collateral misconduct, such as underage drinking.

    The change would put the Connecticut service academy in line with policies at Department of Defense academies. The U.S. Coast Guard is overseen by the Department of Homeland Security.

    The legislation comes amid recent revelations that the service did not widely disclose a six-year internal investigation it conducted, known as Operation Fouled Anchor, into dozens of cases of sexual assault and misconduct between 1988 and 2006. The Coast Guard also apologized for not taking “appropriate action” years ago when it failed to adequately handle cases of sexual assault and harassment at the academy in New London.

    Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, whose district includes the academy, noted in a statement how the Department of Defense “swiftly implemented” a policy change preventing cadets at its service academies from receiving punishment for minor offenses when they report sexual assault or harassment. He said such protections must be extended to the Coast Guard Academy cadets as well.

    “This is one step in the process to care for our cadets as I continue to engage with Coast Guard leadership on the path forward following its failure to disclose the investigation into its…

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