The investigator, who made the comment while interviewing the victim in the case, said that the state’s attempt to prosecute a soldier for sexual assault through its military justice process was “not the only case that was a train wreck in the Wisconsin National Guard,” according to an audio recording of the interview obtained by the Cap Times.
“The governor and Senator (Tammy) Baldwin will know that your case was a train wreck … they will know that one or more members of the Wisconsin National Guard completely f—– up,” the investigator said.
The comments offer a rare glimpse behind a seven-month-long investigation into whether Wisconsin’s National Guard — which includes Army and Air Force units with about 10,000 total members — adequately investigates allegations of sexual assault and whether it follows federal regulations on how to treat victims and perpetrators.
The Wisconsin National Guard, led by longtime Adjutant General Donald Dunbar, has been under scrutiny for months with one of its own internal reports detailing a “culture of sexual misconduct” in one Army unit, and an Air Force officer who says he continues to face retribution for reporting numerous allegations of sexual assault in units there.
Gov. Tony Evers and Sen. Tammy Baldwin asked the National Guard Bureau in April to send a team of officers to investigate how the Wisconsin National Guard investigates allegations of sexual assault in its ranks. The bureau is a federal administrative agency run by the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force that oversees National Guards units nationwide. Evers has pledged to make the report public.
The report was authored by NGB’s Office of Complex Investigations (OCI), established in 2012 to examine sexual assault cases in Guard units nationwide. OCI officers have canvassed the state, conducting interviews and reviewing records. Wisconsin is one of six states that have invited the NGB to investigate how well Guard units follow protocols.
Evers’ office confirmed late Wednesday that the governor has the report from the NGB. As the Guard’s commander-in-chief, he has discretion to determine how to respond to its findings.
Dunbar has not been briefed on the report by OCI, and when that happens, the report will be made public. “Governor Evers has been proactive about this at every step throughout the process,” said Melissa Baldauff, a spokeswoman for Evers.
A spokesman for Baldwin did not respond to an email message regarding the report on Wednesday night.