Inspector General says no cover up in Alaska National Guard sex abuse allegations

The Inspector General of the Army sent a letter to U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Wednesday concluding that Alaska’s National Guard Adjutant General Tom Katkus and other Alaska National Guard officials followed protocol in dealing with allegations of sexual assault in the Guard.

The IG “did not identify concerns regarding sexual assault or sexual harassment reporting,” and Guard officials “did not cover up any reported sexual assault incidents.” The Department of Defense concurred. (Read the letter here.)

The letter said that the Guard had received reports of 11 alleged assaults and that it “promptly coordinated referrals of all incidents to Alaska law enforcement officials,” as protocol dictates. The letter says that Katkus took action in “only two cases upon which he could act.” One person was discharged as a result. Katkus “initiated the subject’s separation,” in the other.

Last June, Sen. Lisa Murkowski asked the Department of Defense inspector general to investigate after Guard chaplains had asked her to look into sexual harassment and assault in the Guard. The chaplains had also spoken to Gov. Sean Parnell, and later state Sen. Fred Dyson and independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker.

The letter was released by her office. However, the full report has not yet been released.

In recent months, allegations of sexual abuse in the Guard have swirled. Gov. Sean Parnell has asked another federal investigative arm of the Guard to look into the allegations. That report is expected to be forthcoming in the fall.

Here’s a statement by Murkowski on the IG letter she received on Wednesday.

Last June, two Alaska Army National Guard Chaplains asked me to look into some troubling allegations that the Adjutant General and other senior leaders were turning a blind eye towards the possibility of sexual assault within the National Guard.  I immediately relayed their concern in a letter to the Department of Defense Inspector General, calling for a review. The allegations were then forwarded to the Army Inspector General, who investigated them and informed my office that the accusations could not be substantiated following a diligent investigation including extensive interviews.

The Defense Department Inspector General reviewed and concurred with the Inspector General’s conclusion. My office has not received the full investigation report, so I am withholding from further comments until the Army provides it and I have the opportunity to fully review it.


3 thoughts on “Inspector General says no cover up in Alaska National Guard sex abuse allegations

  1. Valerie B.

    As a Republican woman, I have been very troubled by the allegations concerning the sexual abuse and misconduct in our National Guard unit. I am very pleased to learn that protocol was followed and that there were no appearances of any attempts to cover up the infractions. Those who rushed to judgement that was critical of the Parnell administration owe the governor and apology. Governor Parnell isn’t a show horse, rather I think of him more as a quiet work horse. He may not be flashy but he does a good and deliberative job as our governor.
    Once again, the liberal and boiased media and their liberal Democratic friends cast dispersions and wrongfully judged the governor. Shame on the media.
    Thank you for covering and reporting on this new development. If it were up to Shannon Moore, we would never hear about this.

  2. Lynn Willis

    The point of all this is to insure a timely just treatment of the soldiers involved and to also restore trust in the command structure of the Alaska Army National Guard. Perhaps more information is needed to do that.
    The Inspector General Letter addresses the disposition of 11 cases using this language: “The Army IG Report noted the Army Sexual Response Coordinator, AKNG (Alaska National Guard) received reports of 11 alleged sexual assault incidents (since February 2012) and promptly coordinated referrals of all incidents to Alaska law enforcement authorities.
    So why didn’t the AKNG Army Sexual Response Coordinator receive the reports of a total of 29 cases as was mentioned by General Katkus in a ADN Compass article he wrote in November 2013? The number “11” shows up in the ADN Article written by General Katkus where he accounts for the 29 cases of record. In his accounting General Katkus writes ” In 11 of the 29 cases, the victims chose to restrict reporting”. The General then reports that 18 of the cases involved civilians; however that begs the question as to why a soldier in a military organization would even consider reporting a sexual assault by a civilian unless that civilian, while a member of the National Guard, might have either not been on military duty at the time of the alleged assault or might have been employed by the National Guard as a civilian.
    A more confusing accounting by the General comes from this statement included in his article, ” Local law enforcement, including the Anchorage Police Department and the Alaska State Troopers was (sic) contacted in 21 cases and for reasons specific to each case these law enforcement agencies did not open investigations” Are any of these 8 cases previously not investigated included in the 11 that were “promptly” referred to Alaska law enforcement agencies?
    Am I to understand that a report of sexual assault doesn’t become a “real” report until a preliminary, perhaps informal, investigation has taken place and that the process takes perhaps upwards of two years? Remember this issue goes back to at least 2010 when the chaplains met with the Governor.
    The good news is that their was no evidence of a cover up by the command; however, based on what has transpired to date, I think the Legislature had better take a look at the statutory protections afforded to members of the Alaska National Guard to insure a timely and just resolution of these cases.


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