Alleged sex harassment at Merchant Marine Academy in review

Markets Associated Press

FILE - In this Sept. 13, 2016, file photo, a sign at the entrance to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., welcomes visitors. The federal agency that operates the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and an alumni association have started ... separate reviews of allegations of sexual abuse and bullying of midshipmen at the suburban New York-based school. The reviews follow the temporary suspension of a program that allows cadets to earn credits for internships working on commercial vessels for a year at sea. (AP Photo/Frank Eltman, File) (The Associated Press)

Allegations of sexual abuse and bullying of midshipmen at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy are under review.

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The U.S. Department of Transportation runs the service academy in Kings Point, New York, and has hired a contractor to perform a 60-day review. Separately, the academy's alumni association has retained its own company to study the issue.

A DOT spokeswoman declined comment Thursday on the alumni association decision to conduct a separate review.

The reviews follow the temporary suspension of a program that places cadets on commercial vessels for a year at sea. Cadets are still being placed aboard government ships, but critics say that is not as vigorous as industry training.

Administrators say the decision was prompted by government sex abuse surveys, interviews with midshipmen and faculty feedback.