02:06 GMT29 March 2020
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    On March 24, a sailor arrested by Irish police on suspicion of sexually assaulting a female sailor was released back into the custody of the US Navy. The sailor is reportedly connected to the USS Donald Cook.

    The alleged incident took place in a Dublin hotel Wednesday while the Rota, a Spain-based destroyer, was conducting a scheduled port visit in Cobh, Ireland. The sailor, said to be in his 30s, has not been charged, according to US Sixth Fleet spokeswoman Captain Pamela Kunze, and the Navy will likely ask Irish authorities to relinquish their jurisdiction so the service can conduct its own internal adjudication. 

    According to the Navy Times, an early report stated that another USS Cook crew member witnessed the alleged assault, and that the victim provided a sexual assault kit after being escorted to a hospital and gave a statement to police. The report also noted that the sailor is a chief petty officer.

    Kunze said, "Because the alleged assault is under investigation by the US Navy, additional details will not be provided at this time … The Navy takes every report of sexual assault seriously. Prevention is an all-hands effort, and we all work toward maintaining a culture that is intolerant of sexual assault." 

    John Murphy, spokesman for the US Embassy in Dublin released a statement saying, "The US Navy would like to express deep respect and gratitude to the people of Ireland for the personal friendship that they have extended to visiting US servicemen and women," adding, "[The] USS Donald Cook, just as the rest of the US Navy, is committed to preventing and responding to sexual assault; eliminating it from our ranks through focused education, comprehensive response, compassionate advocacy and just adjudication in order to promote professionalism, respect and trust while preserving Navy mission readiness."


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