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  • USS Florida (SSGN-728) arriving at its new base in Kings Bay, Georgia, on April 11, 2006.

    USS Florida (SSGN-728) arriving at its new base in Kings Bay, Georgia, on April 11, 2006. | Photo: U.S. Navy

Published 19 May 2019 (5 hours 44 minutes ago)

Navy investigators found "lewd and sexist comments and jokes were tolerated, and trust up and down the chain of command was nonexistent," reads the report.

USS Florida submarine sailors from the United States (U.S.) Navy ranked female crewmembers in a so-called “rape list”, detailing sexual acts they wanted to perform on them, according to a 74-page investigation obtained by the online news outlet Military through a Freedom of Information Act request.

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Navy investigators found "lewd and sexist comments and jokes were tolerated, and trust up and down the chain of command was nonexistent," reads the report. The "rape list" was shared by members of the guided-missile submarine Florida's Gold crew, with knowledge of the commanding officers. 

The USS Florida is the second submarine to integrate enlisted women in their crew. By the time of the incident in 2018, there were 32 women on the vessel’s 173-person crew, including five officers, two chief petty officers and 25 sailors at the rank of E-6 and below.

"The sexually explicit list describes various USS Florida females by appearances, characteristics and various sexual acts the creators of the list wish to perform with them," the investigation explains, adding that "the list describes aggressive sexual activity, but does not reference non-consensual acts."

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The probe into this situation resulted in the firing of Captain Gregory Kercher after it was found that on June 16, 2018, Kercher' was alerted about two lists, and even though he directed a search, stopped short of opening a formal investigation and failed to notify his command.

"Rumors of a 'rape list' were promulgated throughout the crew, significant numbers of females became concerned for their safety, and male members who learned of the list were equally repulsed," Rear Adm. Jeff Jablon, then-commander of Submarine Group 10, wrote to his superior days before Kercher's relief.

At least two other crewmembers have been removed from the military, and an undisclosed number of sailors involved face administrative punishment, Navy officials said.

This latest scandal follows the 2014 incident in the USS Wyoming submarine, where it was found that crewmembers recorder female sailors on board when showering. Meanwhile, sexual violence against female enlisted personnel in the U.S army continues to escalate. 

According to the U.S. Defense Department, sexual assaults have reportedly increased in the military, climbing to nearly 40 percent in 2018. Some 6,053 cases were reported last year, according to an anonymous, bi-annual survey, the Pentagon confirmed.

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