Coast Guard takes action against mariner accused of rape — but only after it was reported by major news outlet

Coast Guard officials have filed administrative charges against mariner Edgar Sison, who was accused to giving a female trainee alcohol and raping her while the two were at sea, CNN reported.

The charges that were filed address the alcohol violations. They were brought one day after CNN reported that the Coast Guard had taken no disciplinary action against Sison -- and even renewed his credentials. As CNN points out, the Justice Department could possibly bring charges in regards to the alleged rape.

"Hope Hicks was a senior at the US Merchant Marine Academy when she sparked a Me Too movement in the commercial shipping industry by coming forward with her story, first in an anonymous account posted online and then to Coast Guard investigators," CNN's report stated. "The agency’s criminal investigation into Hicks’ rape allegation was handed over to the Justice Department in early 2022, but a prosecution decision has yet to be reached. The Coast Guard typically waits to initiate administrative actions until a possible criminal case has been resolved, so focusing on an alleged alcohol violation seemingly allows the agency to go after Sison’s credential without jeopardizing the criminal probe."

Speaking to CNN, Hicks said that the Coast Guard needs to do more since "the industry is not safe."

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“I’m frustrated that any survivor would have to go on CNN and tell the world about the worst thing that ever happened to them in order to get the Coast Guard to take action against their assailant,” she said. “It shouldn’t be that difficult.”

An investigation by CNN found that not a single credential for shipboard sexual misconduct had been revoked by the Coast Guard over the past decade, while members who've tested positive for cannabis have been stripped of their ability to work on ships.

“Recent decisions handed down by [the Coast Guard’s administrative court] on sexual misconduct cases, such as those highlighted in the recent CNN story, are extremely troubling, and I don’t have a lot of confidence the court would do the right thing in my case either,” Hicks said.

Read the full report over at CNN.