The Naval Academy is investigating sexual harassment charges brought by two female midshipmen who complained of attempted blackmail, threats and intimidation by their classmates, academy spokesman Capt. Tom Jurkowsky confirmed yesterday.
In letters to top academy officials, the two women said male midshipmen tried to use threats for sexual favors, showed pornographic movies in the company ward room and used demeaning names to a witness in a fellow midshipman's sexual assault trial, Captain Jurkowsky said.
One of the midshipmen, Walker Fitzgerald, a junior from Las Vegas, made the complaint in a letter to Navy Secretary John Dalton defending herself against an honor violation. In a separate complaint, Midshipman Karri L. Zaremba, a sophomore from Pipersville, Pa., also claimed there is a climate of sexual harassment.
Ms. Zaremba complained that she was called insulting names after she testified in February against Midshipman Stephen J. Ciccarelli, a sophomore who was convicted by a court martial of sexual assault charges, Captain Jurkowsky said.
Ms. Fitzgerald is on leave pending her dismissal. She was found guilty last fall of doctoring a class attendance log and then lying about it. The captain said the academy has been informally investigating the complaints since Feb. 10.