A chief petty officer assigned to the Rota, Spain-based destroyer Donald Cook is in the custody of Irish police, suspected in the sexual assault of a third class petty officer from the command. The incident occurred during a liberty visit to the southern port of Cobh, according to officials and an internal report obtained by Navy Times.
A spokesman for the U.S. embassy in Dublin confirmed the incident in a statement.
"An alleged sexual assault incident by a U.S. Navy Sailor who is assigned to USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) was reported on March 22, 2017," the statement read. "The alleged assault occurred in a hotel in Dublin while the USS Donald Cook was in port at Cobh, Ireland for a scheduled port visit."
The Navy is fully cooperating in the investigation, the statement continued.
Capt. Pamela Kunze, a spokesperson for U.S. Sixth Fleet, said the sailor has not been charged and the Navy anticipates that the U.S. will formally request that Irish authorities relinquish jurisdiction. That would free the Navy to pursue and adjudicate the alleged sexual assault internally.
An early internal report said the victim was escorted to the hospital to provide a sexual assault evidence kit and has made a statement to the local police. The Navy Criminal Investigative Service is involved in the investigation, the report said.
The alleged sexual assault was witnessed by another member of the Donald Cook's crew, who reported the incident to the command, the report said.
The suspect, who is attached to Donald Cook on temporary assigned duty status, has embassy and legal support, the report said.
David B. Larter was the naval warfare reporter for Defense News. Before that, he reported for Navy Times.