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New England News

NY Air Guard Abuse Claim Gets Attention From Senators

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A spokesman for Vermont U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy says his staff will talk to a retired New York Air National Guard officer who alleges a pattern of sexual misconduct at an upstate air base.

Former Lt. Col. Sharon Dwyer Stepp says in a letter to Leahy that offenders at the 109th Airlift Wing in Scotia have been promoted instead of punished.

Stepp was the unit's sexual assault prevention and response coordinator from 2006-2010. She says she was sexually assaulted three times during 37 years in the military.

David Carle, a spokesman for Leahy, says the senator wants to explore Stepp's claims in more detail.

A spokesman for U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says her measure to take sexual abuse accusations out of the chain of command would apply to guard units.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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