“What the Coast Guard did was both a crime and an act of terrorism. It was designed to result in the violent destruction of CDR Strickland’s personal life and career; and to spread terror in the hearts and minds of other officers, cadets, and personnel for the purpose of coercion to make them change their minds and actions when they consider reporting acts of sexual harassment or assault, as it is their sworn duty to do.” (Judge L. Steverson, USALJ (Ret)
Agent Sturgis (picture attached) was the junior agent at the CGIS Kodiak, Alaska Resident Agent Office. AETC Sturgis is not known to have had a direct role in the retaliation against CDR Strickland, but he was involved in hostile interrogations of innocent crewmembers who participated in the sexual assault investigation as witnesses. Many of these witnesses later complained to their chain of command about the lack of professionalism and hostile behavior of the CGIS agents.
“The victims’ roommate of the sexual assault was threatened by the CGIS Investigative Agents. They told her that they had her personal emails and that they would “ruin her career” if she did not “cooperate”. This apparently is what masquerades as a criminal investigation today. In the so-called pursuit of justice, the investigative agents commit crimes and abuse the rights of the innocents.” (Judge L. Steverson, USALJ (Ret)
However, AETC Sturgis suddenly left the CGIS program the following year after CDR Strickland’s report of a sexual assault and returned to the regular Coast Guard as a uniformed Chief Petty Officer. This is not only unexpected, but nearly unheard of. Agent Sturgis now works as an aviation safety officer at Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile, Alabama.
The witch-hunt of CDR Benjamin Strickland is a cautionary tale and warning to those service members who want to stand-up in support victims of sexual assault. The Coast Guard has made it clear that victims of sexual abuse are expected to remain silent. Sexual assaults are covered up and kept under the radar; otherwise, the public may rightfully believe that there is a problem. The Coast Guard’s message is clear “If you help victims of sexual abuse you will be hunted down and destroyed.”
We have reached out to Agent Sturgis for a statement. He has refused to respond.