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Alaska National Guard Investigates Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Published On: Feb 24 2014 08:00:03 PM AKST   Updated On: Feb 24 2014 09:40:42 PM AKST
Alaska National Guard Investigates Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Several members of Alaska's National Guard are the subject of an internal investigation after charges of alleged sexual assault and sexual harassment.

The commander of Alaska's Army National Guard, Assistant Adjutant Gen. Mike Bridges, says it's investigating four cases of alleged sexual assault, four cases of sexual harassment and four other cases of misconduct.

The Alaska National Guard would not say over what period of time these alleged cases of misconduct took place, but did say they are included in 29 cases it has investigated going back to 2009.

Five of the Guard members charged are with the Guard's recruiting unit, and Bridges says all have been suspended while the charges are investigated.

The National Guard says it is taking these charges very seriously, emphasizing that there is a distinction between being charged and being found guilty.

“Everybody is afforded due process but if they have violated that -- the dignity, respect, you know, those boundaries -- they don't need to be here, or they need to be disciplined at the appropriate level for what they've done,” Bridges said Monday from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

The range of punishment for misconduct within the Alaska National Guard can range from a letter of reprimand to a dishonorable discharge without benefits.

The Guard has 40 trained victim advocates, as well as a sexual assault response coordinator.