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Female Cadets Secretly Filmed in Bathrooms at West Point Academy
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On Wednesday, The New York Times reported that a sergeant first class on the staff of the United States Military Academy at West Point has been accused of secretly videotaping female cadets.

Sergeant McClendon, of Blakely, GA served in a position where he was “responsible for the health, welfare and discipline” of a company of cadets and was expected “to assist each cadet in balancing … moral-ethical programs.”

He used to videotape the cadets without their consent, and during many instances he did it when the female cadets were undressed in bathrooms or showers.

  
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Though initially the Army did not make public the charges against Sergeant McClendon, it did so after The New York Times gained knowledge of the inquiry and asked about the matter.

According to Army officials, the Army is now contacting about a dozen women to offer psychological counseling and to alert them that their privacy may have been violated. Case documents indicate that on several instances Sergeant McClendon entered women’s bathrooms without knocking.

McClendon faces charges under four articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice – for cruelty and maltreatment, for actions prejudicial to good order and discipline, for indecent acts and for dereliction in the performance of duty.

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Gen. John F. Campbell, the Army vice chief of staff said on Wednesday in response to media queries, “The Army is committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of our cadets at the Military Academy at West Point – as well as all soldiers throughout our Army.”

Gen. Campbell also stressed that “once notified of the violation, a full investigation was launched, followed by swift action to correct the problem.”



After the incidents became known within the Army in May, Sergeant McClendon was immediately transferred to Fort Drum, N.Y., before filing of charges against him.

Army spokesman George Wright said that the service and West Point would “rebuild trust … providing the full range of support to those whose privacy was violated (and) keeping them updated on the case.”

Sergeant McClendon joined the Army in 1990 and was deployed to Iraq from 2004 to 2005 and again from 2007 to 2009. He received a Bronze Star for his service to the nation as a combat engineer.



 

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