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Navy reviewing case of alleged abuse of gay sailor

Tuesday, September 22, 2009
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Joe RochaThe U.S. Navy is reviewing its investigation of hazing and abuse of a gay sailor and others in a military canine unit in Bahrain in 2005 and 2006, the Associated Press reports.

Joseph Rocha says he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder related to the abuse. The hazing allegedly occurred while he served with military dog handlers based in Bahrain to support the Iraq war.

Rocha says he decided to leave the Navy by coming out to his commanding officer in 2007 in violation of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and was discharged.

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.

The Chief of Naval Operations directed Commander Navy Installations Command on Tuesday to review the actions taken after the earlier investigation and report back on Oct. 6.

More from AP.

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