Criminal Investigative Service is investigating an alleged assault of a female sailor aboard the carrier Gerald R. Ford on the morning of May 3. Officials said the sailor was uninjured.
Sources on the ship said the alleged assailant, whom two described as a shipyard worker, tried to pull the sailor into a secluded area on the ship. She then bit him to break free.
Lt. Cmdr. Sean Robertson, the ship's spokesman, said NCIS had launched an investigation as the ship's command took steps of its own.
"We take the safety of our sailors seriously," he said. "We have instituted some appropriate changes to our security measures since the incident. I'm not going to talk details on that, for obvious reasons, but we do have security in place 24 hours a day here."
The alleged assault happened two days after the release of the fiscal 2014 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, which showed that instances of sexual assault in the Navy are down, while reporting is up. The service had 1,295 reports of sexual assault in fiscal 2014, which is a 12 percent increase over fiscal 2013, and a three-fold increase over fiscal 2011.
Navy officials said more victims are coming forward due to an increased trust in leadership and the likelihood of prosecutions. Fewer than half of those assaults — 46 percent, or 451 incidents — occurred on military installations last year. The majority, 54 percent, occurred Friday through Sunday.