- The Washington Times
Monday, November 16, 2020

An assistant U.S. attorney sexually harassed multiple individuals and misled investigators probing the claims, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a report Monday.

The inspector general’s report revealed that the official physically and verbally sexually harassed an intern, including deliberately running his arm across an intern’s breast without her consent.

Although such inappropriate physical contact is a violation of state law, federal and state prosecutors declined to pursue a case, the inspector general said.

Investigators also found that the assistant U.S. attorney (AUSA) made sexually suggestive comments to three other individuals, including another AUSA, a U.S. Postal Service postal inspector and an FBI forensic analyst.

“The OIG investigation substantiated the allegations that the AUSA engaged in sexually harassing conduct,” the inspector general said, adding that his actions violated federal regulations regarding sexual harassment and employee conduct as well as DOJ policy.

Neither the AUSA nor the office he works at were named in the report.

The AUSA also “lacked candor” with investigators probing the allegations, according to the report.

The case has been turned over to the Justice Department’s office of professional responsibility.

Allegations of sexual harassment have dogged the Justice Department in recent years.

In May, the inspector general concluded that a senior FBI official sexually harassed eight subordinates and misled investigators about the allegations.

A separate report in April found that an FBI assistant director had made unwanted sexual advances on a subordinate, including “inappropriate touching,” following an after-work happy hour event.

In 2018, the inspector general revealed that a former senior Justice Department official allegedly sexually assaulted one woman who worked under him at the department and sexually harassed several other subordinates.

A 2017 inspector general report found that sexual harassment and misconduct is a “systemic” issue across the department, which oversees the FBI. It was the fourth report in the past five years that the inspector general released on sexual harassment at the Justice Department.

The Justice Department responded by forming a working group led by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. It issued a series of directives in 2018 to ensure the department metes out “serious and consistent” punishments to those found to have committed sexual harassment.

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