WASHINGTON — A female U.S. service member alleges that she was sexually assaulted by a Navy SEAL in Iraq, according to two U.S. military officials.
The accused SEAL is a member of a SEAL Team 7 platoon, the officials said, and the alleged assault is now under investigation. Earlier this week, the platoon was sent back to San Diego from Iraq ahead of schedule.
Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.
The assault allegedly occurred during a party on the long July 4 weekend that included alcohol, which is prohibited. When questioned, according to the officials, SEALs who were at the party declined to say anything about the alleged incident.
The alleged sexual assault was first reported by The New York Times, which said the Foxtrot Platoon was sent home "after commanders heard reports of serious misconduct and a breakdown of discipline in the elite unit."
The two U.S. military officials told NBC News the alleged victim is not attached to the platoon.
In a statement Wednesday, the U.S. military's Special Operations Command said the SEAL platoon had been sent to the U.S. on a "deliberate redeployment" because of a "perceived deterioration of good order and discipline within the team during nonoperational periods. The Commander lost confidence in the team's ability to accomplish the mission."
"All Department of Defense personnel are expected to uphold proven standards and to comply with laws and regulations," the statement said. "Alleged violations are thoroughly investigated."
A spokesperson for the Special Operations Command, Ken McGraw, said, "We don’t discuss ongoing investigations."