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CIA botched its handling of sexual assault allegations, House intel report says

By 37ci3 Apr23,2024



The House Intelligence Committee found the CIA misrepresented its response reports of sexual harassment and harassment within the agency, forcing victims to move through a process marked by “confusion and disorganization,” according to an investigation by lawmakers.

The committee’s report said that workers who reported sexual violence and harassment “received no accountability or punishment for the perpetrators.”

The sexual assault and assessment process at the CIA was marked by “confusion and disorganization,” with victims unwilling to come forward because they could not remain anonymous, staff lacking training to identify cases and the agency’s “inappropriate approach.” with law enforcement agencies, he said bipartite committee reportwas released on Monday.

“During its investigation, the Committee found that the CIA failed to handle allegations of sexual harassment and assault within its workforce in the professional and uniform manner that such sensitive allegations require.”

The CIA did not dispute the committee’s findings. A spokeswoman said it has taken steps to improve how it responds to sexual assault complaints and praised a new law that allows the agency to expand its sexual abuse office.

“We are fully committed to creating a safe, respectful workplace environment for our employees and have taken significant steps to ensure that both by increasing our focus on prevention and by strengthening the agency’s management of these problems when they do occur,” he said. statement.

The Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives has started an investigation into the fact The CIA’s response to sex crimes after a female employee approached lawmakers in January 2023 alleging she was sexually harassed and assaulted. After she came forward, more than 20 other employees followed suit, saying they were sexually harassed and assaulted.

The case of the unnamed operative led to the conviction of his CIA colleague in state court on misdemeanor assault and battery charges.

After the CIA stopped a female employee who reported being sexually assaulted in an agency stairwell and accused the CIA of trying to dissuade her from filing a criminal complaint. His lawyer claimed it was illegal retaliation, but the CIA vehemently denied the claim.

As a result of the sexual assault and harassment reports, lawmakers passed legislation last year to fix gaps in how the CIA handles sexual assault cases, requiring it to produce a standard sexual abuse investigation procedure and annual reports to Congress.

Kevin Carroll, an attorney for the employee, who has not been named, said the House committee’s report was “excellent” and vindicated his client and other female employees who raised concerns about the issue.

“This investigative report, and the legislation it promotes, stems from the courage of a young female intern who was honest enough to speak truth to power at the cost of her own CIA career and prevent other agency women from suffering the same way she did.” Carroll said.

The committee’s Republican chairman, Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio, and the top Democrat, Jim Himes of Connecticut, said in a joint statement that they will continue their efforts to monitor how the agency handles sexual harassment.

“For more than a year, the House Intelligence Committee has investigated the CIA’s response to employees who survived sexual assault and harassment. We heard directly from whistleblowers who bravely shared their stories to push for change and accountability,” the two MPs said.

“Our committee has made significant legislative reforms to address failures, and we will continue to monitor progress to ensure there is no slippage in the Agency’s commitment to sexual assault and harassment.Turner and Himes said.

The CIA’s Office of Inspector General is also conducting a “special review” of the matter.

The House committee’s report was based on interviews with 26 informants, 15 briefings by CIA officials and a review of 4,000 pages of CIA documents, according to the committee. The committee also benefited, the report said Cooperation with the CIAsaid it “shows a passion for preventing and responding to incidents of sexual harassment and assault”.



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