Alleged sex harassment at Merchant Marine Academy in review

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Allegations of sexual abuse and bullying of midshipmen at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy are under review.

The U.S. Department of Transportation runs the service academy in Kings Point, New York, and has hired a contractor to perform a 60-day review. Separately, the academy’s alumni association has retained its own company to study the issue.

A DOT spokeswoman declined comment Thursday on the alumni association decision to conduct a separate review.

The reviews follow the temporary suspension of a program that places cadets on commercial vessels for a year at sea. Cadets are still being placed aboard government ships, but critics say that is not as vigorous as industry training.

Administrators say the decision was prompted by government sex abuse surveys, interviews with midshipmen and faculty feedback.