- The Washington Times - Friday, June 14, 2013

An Air National Guard unit in New York is under investigation for allegations that leaders promoted known sexual abusers rather than punish them.

The retired officer in charge of dealing with sexual assault claims made by unit members made the charges in a letter to lawmakers, The Associated Press reported.

“I can tell you from my firsthand experience in this position, the program is BROKE, the commanders do not protect the victims or allow any follow-up medical assistance,” said retired Lt. Col. Sharon Dwyer Stepp, in her letter to Sen. Patrick Leahy, AP reported. “The perpetrators do not get punished but are instead promoted.”

Col. Stepp sent the letter, she said, because she was “fed up” with all the sexual scandals rocking the military. And the same day she sent the letter, the state’s Division of Military and Naval Affairs said it had launched an investigation into the 109th Airlift Wing for “officer misconduct,” related to sexual charges, AP said.

Col. Stepp was the sexual assault prevention and response coordinator from 2006 and 2010. In her letter, she called the prevention program “truly ineffective and a waste of tax payers money,” AP reported.

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