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A female cadet at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy says she was raped by her supervisor

Frank Eltman

An anonymous female cadet at the Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point on Long Island said she was raped by her engineering supervisor during a training mission at sea. The allegations were posted on a whistleblower website.

The student, now a senior at the academy, said most of the roughly 50 women in her class have experienced sexual harassment or assault in the last three years.

A spokesperson for the Maritime Administration of the Department of Transportation said the administration asked the Coast Guard to investigate.

“We have zero tolerance for sexual assault and sexual harassment at USMMA and in the maritime industry,” the statement said. “As we determine the appropriate steps required to increase and ensure the safety of USMMA students, we pledge to listen to and work closely with the entire USMMA community including students, parents and alumni.”

Long Island Congressman Tom Suozzi and New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand called the recent allegations “disturbing.” The two lawmakers had worked to pass legislation that made the academy safer.

In 2016, the academy shut down a training program for several months due to sexual misconduct allegations.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.