Sergeant accused of secretly filming West Point cadets

Posted at 9:22 AM, May 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-23 09:22:22-04

WEST POINT, New York (Bloomberg) — An Army sergeant at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point faces charges of videotaping female cadets without their consent while they showered, according to a U.S. official.

Sergeant First Class Michael McClendon, who supervised a company of 121 cadets at the academy in New York state, has been transferred to Fort Drum, New York, and charges were filed on May 14, the Army said today in a statement.

The allegations include the surreptitious taping, according to the official, who asked not to be identified discussing details that weren’t in the Army’s announcement.

The allegations, reported earlier today by the New York Times, are the latest in a number of cases involving alleged sexual improprieties that have roiled the military, raising pressure on Congress to pass legislation aimed at curbing sexual assaults.

McClendon is charged with violating four articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice concerning indecent acts, dereliction in the performance of duties, cruelty and maltreatment, and conduct that is prejudicial to good order and discipline, the Army said in the statement.

The Army’s Criminal Investigation Division is notifying the affected cadets and “everyone involved,” the Army said.

McClendon has served on the staff at West Point since July 2009.

The case surfaced days before Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is scheduled to speak at the academy’s commencement on May 25.

“The Army is committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of our cadets at the Military Academy at West Point,” General John Campbell, the Army’s vice chief of staff, said in the statement. “Once notified of the violation, a full investigation was launched followed by swift action to correct the problem. Our cadets must be confident that issues such as these are handled quickly and decisively, and that our system will hold those responsible accountable.”