ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The officer who handled sexual assault claims for a New York Air National Guard airlift wing says the unit has promoted abusers instead of punishing them.
Retired Lt. Col. Sharon Dwyer Stepp's claims are made in a letter she sent to Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy. Stepp was the Scotia-based unit's sexual assault prevention and response coordinator from 2006 to 2010. She says she was sexually assaulted three times during 37 years in the military.
She told The Associated Press she acted because she's "fed up" by the spate of sex scandals roiling the U.S. military.
State military officials say the New York Air National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing is being investigated for "officer misconduct." But Col. Richard Goldenberg wouldn't say if the investigation involves sexual misconduct. Goldenberg said he had no knowledge of Stepp's allegations and couldn't comment on them.
David Carle, a spokesman for Leahy, says the senator wants to explore Stepp's claims in more detail.
A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says her measure to take sexual abuse accusations out of the chain of command would apply to guard units.
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