The Coast Guard renewed a mariner’s capability to work at sea after he was accused of rape. Now, the company is attempting to maintain him off ships | Mahaz News

Mahaz News

More than a yr after a pupil advised the US Coast Guard she was plied with alcohol and raped by her boss whereas coaching at sea, the company goes after her alleged assailant’s capability to work on business ships.

Coast Guard officers filed administrative expenses towards mariner Edgar Sison for alleged alcohol violations stemming from the rape accusations on Friday, a day after Mahaz News reported that the company had not taken any disciplinary measures towards Sison – and had even renewed his government-issued credential. The criticism, which the Coast Guard stated seeks to droop Sison’s credential for one yr, comes as officers await a call from the Department of Justice on doable prison expenses associated to the alleged rape.

Hope Hicks was a senior on the US Merchant Marine Academy when she sparked a Me Too motion within the business delivery business by coming ahead together with her story, first in an nameless account posted on-line after which to Coast Guard investigators. The company’s prison investigation into Hicks’ rape allegation was handed over to the Justice Department in early 2022, however a prosecution determination has but to be reached. The Coast Guard sometimes waits to provoke administrative actions till a doable prison case has been resolved, so specializing in an alleged alcohol violation seemingly permits the company to go after Sison’s credential with out jeopardizing the prison probe.

Hicks’ lengthy anticipate any Coast Guard motion was on the heart of Mahaz News’s latest report, which uncovered how the company has failed to forestall and punish sexual assault for many years and has lengthy been lenient and inconsistent with sanctions for mariners discovered to have dedicated sexual offenses compared with outcomes from instances the place mariners used medicine, together with marijuana. The investigation additionally discovered greater than 25 mariners who held credentials after being convicted of intercourse crimes together with rape, sexual battery, sexual assault and youngster molestation.

In many instances, the Coast Guard’s sluggish and secretive investigations have meant that there’s little stopping an alleged perpetrator from persevering with to work after an assault is reported. Hicks and different mariners have criticized the company for not shifting extra swiftly to research and quickly take away potential predators from ships.

“This industry is not safe, and the Coast Guard must do more,” Hicks advised Mahaz News. This week, she stated she was relieved one thing is lastly being achieved however that it ought to have occurred lengthy earlier than the newest Mahaz News report.

“I’m frustrated that any survivor would have to go on Mahaz News and tell the world about the worst thing that ever happened to them in order to get the Coast Guard to take action against their assailant,” she stated. “It shouldn’t be that difficult.”

Mahaz News was denied a duplicate of the Coast Guard’s criticism as a result of a choose had not been assigned to the case. However, a spokesperson confirmed {that a} criticism alleging Sison violated firm coverage by “possessing and consuming” alcohol had been filed.

Hicks said her boss Edgar Sison plied her with alcohol and then raped her while working aboard the Alliance Fairfax when she was 19 years old.

Mahaz News’s investigation discovered that over the previous decade, the company hadn’t revoked a single credential for shipboard sexual misconduct. Yet mariners who’ve failed drug checks after utilizing marijuana and even CBD oil have been stripped of their capability to work on ships.

“Recent decisions handed down by [the Coast Guard’s administrative court] on sexual misconduct cases, such as those highlighted in the recent Mahaz News story, are extremely troubling, and I don’t have a lot of confidence the court would do the right thing in my case either,” Hicks stated.

Maersk’s US subsidiary stated in February 2022 that it had fired Hicks’ alleged rapist for refusing to take part in an inside investigation and turned over the outcomes of the inquiry to the federal government. A Maersk spokesperson additionally confirmed to Mahaz News that Sison was discovered to have violated the corporate’s alcohol coverage. Hicks stated she was outraged when she realized in a June 2022 assembly with prosecutors and Coast Guard investigators that Sison had been employed by one other delivery firm.

Edgar Sison told Mahaz News he has no comment on the allegations against him or the Coast Guard complaint.

Jeremy Gauthier, the director of the Coast Guard Investigative Service, beforehand advised Mahaz News that the company not too long ago started participating federal prosecutors sooner within the hopes that prosecution selections are sped up in order that actions taken towards a credential can even occur extra rapidly.

Sison stated he had no touch upon the Coast Guard’s criticism or Mahaz News’s investigation. His lawyer stated he was not licensed to touch upon behalf of his consumer. The Coast Guard and Department of Justice didn’t touch upon the standing of the prison investigation.

Sison’s union, the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, has stated that labor legal guidelines have stored the union from quickly suspending Sison’s membership with none data or motion from the Coast Guard. On Tuesday, the union’s president stated the group would want to see the contents of the criticism to find out whether or not it will have an effect on Sison’s membership within the union and stated it’s “frustrating” to be taught of the criticism’s existence from Mahaz News and never the Coast Guard.

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