11:32 GMT25 September 2020
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    Four US Navy third class petty officers have been accused of committing sex crimes involving a girl between the age of 12 and 16.

    The men are accused of filming their group sex with the girl inside the naval barracks at the Kitsap-Bangor base near Seattle, Washington, in September 2017. The Navy isn't sure how the girl got onto the base.

    The accused are assigned to submarine commands: two to the USS Nebraska Blue crew, one to the USS Henry M. Jackson and one to the Naval Submarine Support Center Bangor.

    Their names have not been released, as they have not yet been criminally charged, and a court martial has not been convened yet either.

    Within weeks of the alleged incident, a report was made by an anonymous woman. Submarine Group Nine spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Mike Smith said the Naval Criminal Investigative Service immediately investigated the claims and just wrapped up its probe. 

    "The US Navy holds its personnel to the highest standards of conduct," Smith said, according to reports from local media. "We are committed to holding our personnel accountable for their actions and preserving good order and discipline throughout the fleet."

    The sailors are accused of violating a military code that forbids non-family members from being in barracks rooms past 10 p.m., and also of producing child pornography and committing a sexual act upon a child.

    Late last month the men appeared for an Article 32 hearing, which is similar to a preliminary hearing in civilian courts. A military judge heard the evidence against them and will make a recommendation on whether to hold a court martial. That decision is expected to be made in the coming weeks.


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    US Navy, US military, Child Pornography, Pedophilia
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