A Connecticut woman is suing the U.S. Navy, alleging that she received an other than honorable discharge over a sexual harassment complaint she filed more than two decades ago against a high-ranking officer.
Katrina Bradley, of West Haven, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Connecticut Monday, naming Sean Stackley, acting secretary of the Navy, as the defendant. She also accuses Ensign Anthony Williams of sexually harassing her.
A Navy spokesperson referred questions about the pending litigation to the Department of Justice, which declined to comment and referred the Daily News back to the Navy.
Bradley enlisted in the Navy when she was 18 in May 1994 and completed training in February 1995. She worked as a hazardous material clerk at the Patrol Squadron Ten at Naval Air Station in Brunswick, Maine. There, she met Williams.
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She was excited to meet Williams because she knew he was one of the few black men in her chain of command. She trusted that he would look out for her, the lawsuit states.
Bradley, who is black and gay, accuses Williams of sexually harassing her after he invited her to his barracks in 1995.
Williams led her to his room where he gave her beer, touched and rubbed her leg, which made Bradley feel uncomfortable, according to the suit.
Bradley also alleges other service members racially profiled her. She filed a sexual harassment complaint in the summer of 1995 and claimed that no Navy personnel followed up with her. Afterward, Williams and other superiors threatened and retaliated against her, the suit states.
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A Department of Defense survey of 90,000 active members, conducted from February to September 1995, found that 53% of women in the Navy had experienced unwanted sexual attention.
The Navy then discharged Bradley in 1996 “under other-than-honorable status,” the suit says.
In spring 2016, she applied for an upgrade discharge with the Board for Correction of Naval Records, which denied her request because the evidence of record fails to demonstrate the existence of probable material error or injustice.
The suit states that the Navy didnt notify Bradley of any efforts to either counsel or punish Williams for his actions. Bradley learned of other women Williams had allegedly harassed after she filed her complaint, according to the suit.