Investigation: Treasury Department is protecting the identity of a Financial Attache who sexually assaulted a woman at a US Embassy

Read the full story on DailyMail.com here

The US government is protecting the identity of a senior American diplomat who they determined sexually assaulted a 22-year-old woman at a party he hosted at his residence while stationed at an American embassy.

A copy of a report obtained through a Freedom of Information Request by DailyMail.com shows the Treasury Department substantiated an allegation that a high-ranking financial attaché forced the woman to perform oral sex on him by holding her head down in the maid’s quarters of his taxpayer-funded home.

The attaché, who had a US government salary of up to $90,000 a year and was based in the Americas, also inserted his fingers into her vagina during the attack on New Year’s Eve, 2014, the report states.

During his midnight toast to guests at the party, just before the alleged attack took place, the American attaché supposedly said he was as ‘hard as Lenin’s statue’.

The alleged victim, who was on vacation and visiting a relative at the embassy, told investigators she was too scared to resist his advances and couldn’t pull away as he was holding her head.

 

She waited until he stopped, thinking he would then leave her alone, the investigation states.

The Treasury Department’s Office of the Inspector General stated in their investigation that the attaché was likely ‘too drunk’ to notice the woman was trying to reject his advances.

But the Treasury has refused to identify the man behind the supposed attack and will not reveal where he was stationed – even though the sex assault allegation was substantiated during an administrative investigation.

Advocates for a more open government have said the cases raises serious concerns about transparency – especially during the #MeToo movement.

The report obtained by DailyMail.com reads: ‘(The investigation) determined that it is more likely than not that (the woman’s) version of the event is more accurate and that the sexual act was not consensual.’

‘Also it is likely that (the woman) was too intimidated and scared to forcefully resist (the attaché’s) advances.’

The U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Rights and Special Prosecutions Section, declined to prosecute the case, citing the ‘exacting standard of proof’ in criminal court.

However, according to the report, officials in the Treasury Department decided against criminal proceedings’ citing the ‘exacting standard of proof in criminal court and the availability of administrative actions’.’

It is not known whether or how the Treasury punished the attaché.

Jack Lew was Treasury Secretary at the time of the investigation. He was appointed by President Obama.

DailyMail.com have tried to contact him for a comment on the story, but he has not yet repsonded.

Treasury Department officials told DailyMail.com that releasing the identity of the attaché would not be in the ‘public interest’, despite the ongoing scandal of men in positions of power sexually abusing and harassing women.

The Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), which falls under The State Department, was also involved in the investigation.

It is not known whether they conducted their own investigation or substantiated the claim.

A State Department spokesman referred DailyMail.com to the Treasury for comment.

People at the party on the night of the alleged assault told investigators that the attaché was drunk. Others also said the pair were ‘flirting’ throughout the night.

According to the report, one person at the party remembered they were ‘rubbed the wrong way’ when the attaché made a ‘joke’ about ‘rape’ during a game of Cards Against Humanity a few weeks earlier.

After his midnight toast, the attaché allegedly took the woman into a wing of his residency and assaulted her until he ‘reached orgasm’.

The woman told department investigators that a few hours after the attack she texted a friend describing what had happened.

She said she couldn’t escape because he was holding her hair, she was ‘scared’ and didn’t have the guts to push him away.

On January 3, 2014, she told her brother about the alleged attack. He then reported to his supervisor and sparked a series of interviews.

On January 6, 2014, she had a medical examination, but doctors found no bruises, scratch marks, lacerations, bite marks of any other signs of trauma.

DSS Special Agents subsequently conducted interviews with the complainant, the attaché, 14 people who went to the party, and the medical professionals who examined the woman.

Eight people at the party said they didn’t notice any unusual contact between with the woman and the attaché, but six said the attaché was they were either ‘drunk’ or ‘very drunk’.

During his interview, the attaché insisted the ‘sexual contact’ was consensual and claimed the woman had several opportunities to resist either physically or verbally.

An investigation by the Treasury’s Official of the Inspector General, that was run by current head Eric Thorson at the time, concluded he ‘likely’ did commit the sexual assault, but he was too drunk to notice her rejecting his advances.

The Justice Department also chose not to prosecute the attaché, so he could be disciplined within the department instead.

The Treasury Department confirmed to DailyMail.com that the attaché no longer works with them, and left after the investigation into his conduct concluded.

It is not known if he still works for the government or where he is employed.

The attaché joined the Treasury in 2009. He was promoted to salary bracket GS-13 – meaning he earned between $74,584and $96,958, in December, 2012. Only officials employed to a rank of GS-14 and GS-15 earn higher salaries as civil servants.

In January 2013, while Jack Lew was Treasury Secretary, he was transferred from the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence and named a Financial Attaché.

There are approximately 18 financial Attaché stationed in major financial capitals and high-risk jurisdictions around the world.

Their aim is to monitor any international economic developments that would be benefit the US.

In Afghanistan and Iraq, they are focused on restructuring efforts after the war and the collapse of their governments.

Critics have said the decision to keep the name of the attaché and the location of the incident secret undermines the need for more transparency.

Alex Howard, Deputy Director of the Sunlight Foundation, a non-profit that pushes for a more open government, told DailyMail.com that the case brings up issues of transparency and ties into broader issues such as issues of repression and the #MeToo campaign.

‘We need to address the secrecy. This incident looks like assault and could be prosecuted in other circumstances.

‘There is public interest in the disclosure of poor behavior, the transparency of what happened and the accountability that followed.

‘Citizens want to know what was done, if any reforms were put in place, and what will happen next time something like this happens.

‘The victim’s identity should be kept a secret, but government could be trying to protect people in power so they can protect their institution.

‘Every level of government needs to be involved in this movement to lift up voices and say #MeToo.

‘They should not be attempting to protect people that should have been held accountable.

‘If this happens, there is a gap in credibility and public trust.’

Howard also said the government departments sometimes use exemptions, including in the Freedom of Information Act, to avoid embarrassment.

In December, 2017, it was revealed that The Treasury Department paid $174,000 over five years to settle sexual harassment cases, many involving members of Congress.

It is not known if officials in the Treasury paid anything to settle sexual harassment claims involving its own staff.

This isn’t the first time a government department has protected the identity of a high-ranking overseas official accused of misconduct while stationed abroad.

In January 2016, DailyMail.com uncovered that a US consulate employee had a child taken from his care because officials feared the minor was in danger following systematic abuse and neglect.

A document exposed how the International Trade Administration staff member allegedly subjected the minor to shocking care while working abroad and living in a house owned by the government

An investigation found the child was routinely underfed and encouraged to take their clothes off in the consulate residence so the man could allegedly take pictures of them naked.

At the time the unidentified employee also allegedly harassed female colleagues during his posting and used a government email address to meet women online.

Daily Mail Online obtained the damning document after submitting a Freedom of Information request to the Department of Commerce’s Office of the Inspector General.

The report revealed the employee had shared custody of the child.

According to the report, he would routinely forget to pick up the child from other consulate employees’ houses, left the minor at home alone and would only give them one apple to take for their school lunch.

He also, according to the document, took baths with the child, encouraging them to take their clothes off and would then take pictures of them while they were in a bath.

 

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