The House Intelligence Committee is investigating the CIA after three female employees were allegedly sexually assaulted by agency employees, who say they were threatened to remain silent or face retaliation, a victim’s lawyer told the DCNF.
Kevin Carroll, an attorney for one of the victims, who has declined to speak publicly about the matter, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that his client was repeatedly assaulted by a male CIA employee who had tried to kiss and accost her. When she reported the incident to the CIA’s Office of Security, they warned her against speaking with law enforcement, else she would not be “protected” from her assailant and her career with the agency would end, Carroll said.
Local law enforcement is currently investigating the incident as a misdemeanor, though Carroll said that his client had been interviewed by the FBI. However, after doing so, the Department of Justice declined to proceed with charges, with Carroll telling the DCNF “whether or not they did so at the CIA’s insistence, I can’t tell you.”
The employee was also told by the office, as well as the Office of Medical Services, that she could not seek any counseling or psychiatric help after the alleged assault, since doing so would be a security breach, Carroll told the DCNF. The agency’s Office of General Counsel, Carroll said, later said that this instruction was “incorrect” and should not have been issued.
Two other women who spoke with the committee, per Politico, claimed to have been raped by a male employee and sexually assaulted at work on CIA premises, respectively. With respect to his client, Carroll told the DCNF that all incidents occurred in the United States, and not overseas.
Last week, the committee sent a letter to CIA Director Bill Burns requesting cooperation with the investigation, which Burns pledged. However, other CIA officials, speaking to Politico, rebuffed the woman’s claims, saying that “That’s not true. … We haven’t threatened or blocked anybody.”
When contacted, the committee declined to release the letter and, instead, offered a general statement about the matter. An official privy to the matter, speaking on background with the DCNF, said that the committee is considering the issue as part of efforts to produce legislation addressing sexual assault in the intelligence community.
“Sexual assault and rape are big problems in the intelligence community,” said Carroll, who previously served at the CIA. He added that as many as 54 women known to his client had spoken out within the last few months regarding harassment they faced while at the CIA.
The agency has faced several high-profile controversies of sexual assault in the last several years. In 2010, former officer Andrew Warren was convicted of sexual assault for assaulting an unconscious woman at the U.S. Embassy in Algeria, while CIA officer Brian Raymond pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual abuse of unconscious victims.
The CIA and FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the DCNF.
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