Local / Virginia

Captain drank with his Navy crew, harassed women

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A former commanding officer could be dismissed from the Navy over numerous misconduct allegations after a night of heavy drinking with his crew while he was in charge of the guided missile cruiser the USS Anzio.

Officials relieved Capt. Brian K. Sorenson of command in September, according to a report from the Virginian-Pilot (http://bit.ly/1X8C89F). On Thursday, the newspaper obtained a report from the Navy on its investigation.

According to the report, Sorenson was drunk in public, used alcohol and had personal firearms aboard the Anzio, created a hostile work environment, used indecent language, sexually harassed female officers and misused government vehicles.

Sorenson’s attorney, Greg McCormack, said his client looks forward “to this legal process, which will provide a forum for the truth to prevail.”

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus ultimately will determine whether Sorenson remains in the Navy.

The incident in question occurred in late August when a party was planned for 10 recently promoted officers, the report said. Sorenson arranged for government vans to transport sailors from the Anzio to a Yorktown pub, even though some subordinates found it inappropriate.

Multiple officers drank to excess, the report said, including Sorenson. At one point in the night, Sorenson was allegedly sitting alone with a female crew member outside the pub and asked her multiple times to perform a sex act on him. The report said Sorenson later offered to give the crew member a surface warfare officer pin if she had sex with him.

Throughout the night, Sorenson reportedly continued to use vulgar language. He told investigators any inappropriate comments would have been in the context of what the Navy is demanding from its crew and weren’t intended to be sexual.

Sorenson later pledged to his chiefs and officers he wouldn’t have another drink while he was the commanding officer. However, the report said he told the officers that they all shared responsibility for allowing him to drink too much.


Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com

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