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Marine General Suspended Following Public Mocking of Sexual Harassment

Brigadier General Kurt Stein, who oversaw sexual assault prevention efforts in the Marine and Family Programs, has been placed on leave after he made disparaging comments about sexual misconduct at a town hall.
On April 6, General Stein spoke to hundreds of civilian employees and Marines at the base in Quantico, VA. Anonymous sources reported his comments at the meeting to news sources as well as the Naval Criminal Investigative Services. During his speech, he ridiculed the two women who had complained about sexual harassment. They had accused a Marine officer of making sexual overtures toward them. The officer allegedly showed them his erection while clothed on five different occasions. An initial investigation did not find support for the allegations but an additional investigation has since been ordered by a Marine Corps Commandant. General Stein referred to these allegations in the town hall as “fake news” and used questionable language to describe the charges made by the women. He also made jokes about a chaplain who had been fired for having sex in public.
Reaction to the incident was strong. The Marine Corps stated: “We expect every Marine, uniformed and civilian – and particularly those in leadership positions – to take allegations of misconduct seriously and to promote positive command climates.” Representative Jackie Speier, a ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, stated that General Stein should not be serving in the Marine Corp if the allegations are true. “Leaders must be held to the highest standard if the Corps expects the rank and file to live up to its core values of honor, courage, and commitment.” The Marine Corps has been accused of sexual misconduct and harassment over the past few years. In the past couple of months, high-profile reprimands by the Marine Corps have become more common.