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The entire West Virginia State Police department is under sexual misconduct investigation after multiple lawsuits filed from dozens of women, including minors.
The Department of Homeland Security is investigating the West Virginia State Police department after serious allegations of sexual assault and misconduct, theft, physical assault, and cover-up and fraud have come to light.
A five-page anonymous letter was sent to Governor Jim Justice (R) in February alleging sexual assaults, thefts, and hidden cameras inside the women’s locker room at the West Virginia State Police Academy.
A group of women who used the locker room at the West Virginia State Police Academy filed a “30-day notice of intent to sue” through their lawyer Teresa Toriseva back in March.
Toriseva has filed another “30-day notice of intent to sue” on behalf of the group of women, saying developments in her investigation reveal “an environment that’s downright hostile to women.”
Photos of women undressing in the locker room were allegedly shared between troopers.
The latest filing from Toriseva represents 42 women, including 10 minors who attended the Junior Trooper Academy.
“We’re finding and getting reports of sexual misconduct, including reports of improper sexual relationships with instructors. We’re getting reports of physical assaults,” Toriseva said. “Evidence of a cover-up, of fraud, not letting this become public, so to speak, to oversimplify it and that is a problem too.”
In February, Gov. Justice said that he fully supported “cutting out bad actors,” adding that law enforcement is a “tough job”.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeff Sandy said “over the past few months, extensive work has been done by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General and other retired law enforcement officers employed by the Department of Homeland Security…The actions of a few should not tarnish the reputation of the organization.”
However, it is the entire organization that is under investigation, not just a few.