CNN: Former Coast Guard leader buried investigation into academy sex assault

Admiral Karl Schultz.  Commandant of the Coast Guard U.S. Coast Guard.

John Penney

The Day, New London, Conn.

(TNS)

Aug. 8—An internal probe into widespread reports of rape and other sexual assaults at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London was kept under wraps — even from lawmakers — by the former commandant of the agency, CNN reported on Tuesday.

The news outlet alleges now-retired Commandant Karl Schultz, an East Hartford native who led the Coast Guard from 2018 to 2022, failed to share the findings of the investigation, dubbed “Operation Fouled Anchor,” with members of Congress and “maintained a veil of secrecy” around the inquiry as part of a political calculation.

The investigation, launched in 2014 and nearly completed when Schultz took charge of the branch, identified 62 substantiated incidents of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment that occurred at the service academy from 1988 to 2006, though dozens of other claims were reportedly not investigated.

CNN said Coast Guard leaders throughout the investigation “guarded its secrecy” closely, even requiring officials with access to case materials to sign non-disclosure agreements.

Legislators weren’t alerted to the probe until June, a delayed disclosure that prompted Schultz’s successor, Adm. Linda Fagan, to appear before a congressional panel and for the first time publicly acknowledge the allegations and the Coast Guard’s reporting failure.

At the time, Coast Guard leaders were roundly criticized for burying the report, though Tuesday was the first time Schultz and his second-in-command, Adm. Charles Ray, were specifically accused of engineering a cover-up.

Schultz’s predecessor, Adm. Paul Zukunft, told CNN plans were in place to brief Congress and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Coast Guard, in 2018.

Zukunft told CNN he was “incredulous” over the fact officials failed to brief Congress or publicize their findings.

Schultz, a 1983 Academy alum who later earned a master’s degree from the University of Connecticut, returned to the New London campus for a 2019 graduation ceremony and a change of command function in 2021.

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