(WEST POINT, N.Y.) — A sergeant first class is accused of photographing and videotaping female cadets by planting hidden cameras in the bathroom and showers at West Point.
Sergeant Michael McClendon is under investigation by the Army after being accused of taking dozens of naked photos and videos of female cadets over a nearly five-year period.
He has been removed from duty Thursday morning and was sent to Ft. Drum in upstate New York as the investigation continued.
McClendon lived and worked with cadets at West Point. In fact, his job description says he was there to coach and train them on leadership and responsibility.
“I think this behavior absolutely damages the reputation of West Point,” said Anu Bhagwati with the Service Women’s Action Network. “I mean, West Point is considered the elite academy.”
“They’re serious charges but they really scratch the surface of what’s happening at West Point, what’s happening in all the other academies,” Bhagwati continued.
A pentagon report released this spring estimated that up to 26,000 military members may have been sexually assaulted last year alone.
Last month Lt. Col Jeffrey Krusinski, who was in charge of the Air Force’s Sexual Assault Prevention Program, was arrested and charged with fondling a woman in a suburban Washington, D.C. parking lot.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Amy La Porte, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN
AnneClaire Stapleton, CNN