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SFC pleads guilty to videotaping women cadets

Mar. 7, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
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A sergeant first class accused of of videotaping female cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., without their knowledge and consent, pleaded guilty at a court-martial at Fort Drum on Wednesday, according to the Army.

Sgt. First Class Michael McClendon will serve a 33-month sentence, the Army said. He will also be demoted to private, lose all pay and receive a bad-conduct discharge, the Army said.

McClendon pleaded guilty to one charge and eight specifications of a violation of Article 120 of military law for “indecent acts.”

McClendon had been assigned to the school since 2009 before charges were filed in May. He served as a tactical noncommissioned officer, meaning he was responsible for the health, welfare and discipline of a company of 125 cadets.

The Army did not announce the charges against McClendon, which were first reported by The New York Times. The newspaper first reported the outcome of McClendon’s court-martial.

Authorities allegedly found images of nude cadets on his computer, according to the charges. He allegedly recorded videos of a number of women’s exposed bodies and had entered a women’s bathroom to film women as they were coming and going from the shower.

The West Point case was one in a string of embarrassing reports about sexual assault and harassment in the Army this week.

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair, the former deputy commander of the 82nd Airborne, pleaded guilty at a Fort Bragg, N.C., court-martial this week to having improper relationships with two female Army officers and to committing adultery with a third, the captain who was his longtime mistress.

Sinclair still faces five other charges stemming from the claims of a female captain nearly 20 years his junior who says the general twice forced her to perform oral sex.

It surfaced this week that Lt. Col. Joseph “Jay” Morse, the Army’s lead sexual assault prosecutor, is under investigation for allegedly sexually assaulting a female colleague. Morse has been suspended from his job as chief of the Trial Counsel Assistance Program at Fort Belvoir, Va.

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— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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