SAN DIEGO — The U.S. Navy has punished one of its own for violating a local sailor’s privacy rights, 10News reported.
Seaman Jose Rodriguez was sexually assaulted, and he told 10News the entire ship knew what happened to him.
Rodriguez went to a club for drinks and dancing, but he said that one night destroyed his career. Now, the Navy admits they made a mistake.
Rodriguez said he wants to forget his past, but his flashbacks are vividly clear.
“Me being forced down, held by my neck with a couple of hands holding me down and opening my mouth while I’m yelling, ‘Help,'” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez said he was drugged and then sexually assaulted by a group of men in June. The last thing he remembers was being at Rich’s Nightclub in Hillcrest. He was missing for three days.
“I woke up in a hotel room without clothing,” said Rodriguez.
He said what happened to him was supposed to never be revealed. However, another sailor somehow learned of the attack and spread the story to his commander, or command duty officer.
“CDO reported it to the captain, he reported it to the department and that’s how everything got out,” said Rodriguez.
He said he has since been harassed consistently by fellow sailors, and has also had his job duties reduced.
10News contacted Navy officials and a spokesman said a sailor has been administratively punished for breaching Rodriguez’s rights.
Rodriguez’s attorney, Dan Gilleon, said he believes the hospital Rodriguez went to may also be at fault.
“What I understand is that what he’s alleging is that the hospital gave medical information to someone in his command in his chain of command that was not authorized to have this information,” said Gilleon.
Rodriguez said all he wants to do is go back to how it used to be, but he said nothing will ever be the same.
“They don’t know what I’ve gone through and they have no reason to be judging,” said Rodriguez.
Gilleon said Rodriguez cannot sue the Navy due to a federal law prohibiting it.
Rodriguez has since been transferred from the ship.
The Navy said it was an example of the system working because action was taken after a complaint was made.