WASHINGTON, May 22 (UPI) — A West Point Academy staff member faces charges after being accused of videotaping female cadets in their showers and locker rooms, Pentagon officials said.
Sgt. 1st Class Michael McClendon allegedly planted cameras in the facilities and recorded the women without their knowledge, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
“The Army is committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of our cadets at the Military Academy at West Point — as well as all soldiers throughout our Army,” Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. John F. Campbell told the Times. “Once notified of the violation, a full investigation was launched, followed by swift action to correct the problem. Our cadets must be confident that issues such as these are handled quickly and decisively, and that our system will hold those responsible accountable.”
McClendon was charged May 14 under four articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for indecent acts, dereliction in the performance of duty, cruelty and maltreatment, and actions prejudicial to good order and discipline. He was transferred to Fort Drum, N.Y.
Army spokesman George Wright told the Times West Point will “rebuild trust through our response,” adding the Army is committed to “providing the full range of support to those whose privacy was violated” and “keeping them updated on the case.”
McClendon joined the Army in 1990. He was deployed as a combat engineer to Iraq from 2004-2005 and 2007-2009 and was awarded a Bronze Star, service records show.
He was assigned to West Point in 2009, serving as a “tactical non-commissioned officer” who was “responsible for the health, welfare and discipline” of a company of 125 cadets, personnel documents indicate.
Photo: Paul Downey/Flickr