The BDN’s three-part series, “Unguarded,” tells the stories of soldiers sexually assaulted and harassed within the ranks of the Maine Army National Guard while lax enforcement of policies, little oversight, and retaliation against those who complained continued for more than a decade.
The six-month investigation is built on state, federal, military, police and civilian court records documenting instances of alleged sexual assault and harassment, but also includes interviews with guard members — male and female — to create a fuller picture of how the problem persisted.
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The 3-part investigation
Soldiers blame a sharp rise in sexual assaults and harassment on a predatory culture.
The Maine Army National Guard’s handling of complaints can mean harsh repercussions for soldiers who speak out.
A guard report due in March could bring renewed demands for accountability.
If you or someone you know needs resources or support related to sexual violence, contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s 24/7 hotline at 800-871-7741.
The team behind
Two BDN journalists primarily worked on this series: Investigative reporters Callie Ferguson and Josh Keefe. Editing support was provided by Dianna Hunt through the Investigative Editing Corps.
BDN journalists Troy R. Bennett and Sawyer Loftus took photos, as did freelance photographer Garrick Hoffman.
Rosemary Lausier and Christopher Burns designed the stories for the web. Managing Editor Dan MacLeod supervised the project.