Navy Investigating Case of Gay Sailor Who Resigned Over Abuse
The U.S. Navy is investigating the handling of the case of veteran Joseph Rocha, who resigned from the military after experiencing hazing and harassment at the hands of his fellow soldiers.Rocha: "My Navy peers often harassed me, insisting the extra training I did with Marines was a search for sex partners. Once, I was hog tied to a chair, rolled across the base, and left in a dog kennel with feces. I was forced to simulate sex acts, on camera, to armed service members with trained attack dogs in the room. Men with hoses sprayed me down in full uniform."
Rocha's unit chief, Michael Toussaint, who oversaw the hazing and abuse has since been promoted to Senior Chief with the elite Naval Special Warfare Development Group.
The AP reports: "An internal Navy investigation into his unit found dozens of examples of hazing and sexual harassment against multiple sailors between 2005 and 2006. The result of the investigation was not clear; a copy of the report released under the Freedom of Information Act has all recommendations blacked out. Now, a congressman who is a former admiral has asked the Navy for information about the harassment, the service's internal investigation, and an explanation as to why the head of the military working dog unit at the time was promoted. The Sept. 11 letter from Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., to Navy Secretary Raymond Mabus followed a story about the Navy findings of abuse that was first reported by a California news organization earlier this month. 'Without a question, it heightens and makes more salient this issue,' said Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa. 'It highlights the loss of another good individual.' A Navy spokesman said the case and its outcomes are being reviewed."