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A US Coast Guard Official who was tasked with addressing sexual assault claims at the academy is stepping down after alleging she was directed to lie to victims.

Shannon Norenberg, the sexual assault response coordinator at the Coast Guard Academy since 2013, announced her resignation in a detailed blog post, accusing the academy of pushing her to deceive victims of sexual assault and harassment.

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Norenberg said the Coast Guard Academy “used me to lie to victims, used me to silence victims, and used me in a coordinated effort to discourage victims of sexual assault at the Academy from speaking to Congress about their assaults and about the Coast Guard’s investigation of their cases.” She continued, “The Coast Guard deceived me into violating a basic principle of my profession, which is to never lie to victims. Although I did not realize what I was doing at the time, I cannot allow this to stand. “I can no longer in good conscience be part of an organization that would betray me, betray victims of sexual assault, and betray the system I helped set up to hold perpetrators at the Academy accountable.”

The Coast Guard Academy has not yet responded to these allegations.

This development comes as the academy has faced ongoing criticism for its handling of sexual assault reports. An internal investigation revealed that from the mid-1980s to 2006, the Coast Guard mishandled many cases, resulting in the Senate launching an inquiry. Senator Richard Blumenthal, representing the state housing the academy, is pushing for Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Linda Fagan to testify about the academy’s conduct.


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