Senior Coronado officer accused in Navy scandal demoted - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Senior Coronado officer accused in Navy scandal demoted

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(CNS) - A non-commissioned officer who oversaw the prolonged hazing and sexual taunting of sailors in Bahrain has been removed from his supervisory duties in Coronado and is being forced to retire, it was reported today.

Senior Chief Petty Officer Michael Toussaint was handed a career-ending letter of censure Wednesday, reassigning him to an administrative post at a base in Norfolk, Va., until his forced retirement in January, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Toussaint had been assigned to the Coronado-based Naval Special Warfare Command.

From 2004 to 2006, Toussaint commanded a 19-member Navy dog-handing unit. In late 2006, a female sailor new to the unit complained of hazing. The Navy investigated and substantiated 93 incidents of abuse, including pervasive sexual and racial harassment, theft of clothes while sailors showered and hiring of prostitutes for unit parties.

Toussaint was given minimal punishment and later promoted to senior chief.

Recently, the hazing has gained national attention because former unit member Joseph Rocha, now a gay-rights activist and University of San Diego student, has given several newspaper and television interviews detailing his experiences.

At one time, he was forced to simulate sex with a man as part of a daylong "training scenario" for the dogs, he said.

Rocha told the Union-Tribune that he was glad to see his former superior finally punished but would like him to face a court-martial.

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