Pentagon: Defense official sexually harassed female staff

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A Pentagon report has found that a senior Defense Department official sexually harassed several women on his staff, touching them and making inappropriate comments.

The department’s inspector general said in a report Thursday that Guy Roberts, the former assistant defense secretary for nuclear programs, made “deliberate, unwelcomed physical contact of a sexual nature by hugging, kissing or touching” three female employees and created a hostile work environment.

The complaint was filed in February and Roberts resigned in early April. The report said Roberts’ physical interaction with the women caused them to fear that they would be fired if they complained or rejected his behavior.

According to the report, Roberts said it was not his intent to sexually harass the women and that they didn’t tell him his behavior was inappropriate.

“I am surprised and dismayed by the conclusions contained in the report,” Roberts said, according to the report.

The inspector general added, however, that at least one of the women told him on several occasions that his behavior was not welcome.

“We concluded that he knew or should have known, based on his experience and training, that the physical contact and sexually suggestive comments were completely inappropriate,” the report said.

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