A Navy officer who admitted to Virginia’s Child Protective Services (CPS) that he sexually abused his 13-year-old daughter has yet to be punished by the service for his actions.
CPS found that the allegations made against the officer — whose name is withheld because his victims are minors — were credible. Though he only confessed to molesting his 13-year-old daughter, his 10-year-old son alleged that the officer had tied him to a chair and forced him to watch as he had intercourse with his current girlfriend.
The charges against the daughter were severe — CPS gave them a Level 1 designation, indicating that the sexual abuse caused the child to “severe harm.” He settled with CPS by admitting to Level 2 sexual abuse, meaning he confessed to having caused his daughter “moderate harm.”
According to the daughter in statements obtained by The Virginian-Pilot, the officer actively molested her for two years before the night he took her into a bedroom, pinned her down and raped her.
“He kept saying that if I told anyone, he would hurt me,” the daughter said in a written account. “I screamed but no one could hear me. I was too scared to tell anyone.”
Two years after the attack, a social worker who interviewed her reported that she was dealing with post-traumatic stress, anxiety, insomnia and had developed an ulcer.
“This thing has ruined me forever,” she told a social worker. “I take three or four showers a day to feel clean.”
According to the report in The Virginian-Pilot, CPS placed the officer’s name on the State Child Abuse and Neglect Registry, and forbade him from being within two miles of the home, school or workplace of any of his four children until they are adults.
Despite the CPS’s findings and the severity of the punishment it handed down, the Navy declined to prosecute the officer internally, effectively clearing him of all charges. He has received two promotions since being cleared.
His soon-to-be ex-wife and three of his four children — including the two CPS found had made credible allegations against him — live in destitute circumstances. A judge in the divorce hearing, believing these allegations an attempt to derail the officer’s career, declared the wife to be in contempt of court and sentenced her to 10 days in jail or a $5,000 fine.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) is currently trying to determine why no criminal investigation was undertaken when the allegations against the officer first came to light nearly four years ago.
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Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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