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Commander of Naval Station Everett reassigned during sexual assault investigation

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Capt. James Duke (Photo: portland.indymedia.org)

SILVERDALE, Wash. — The commanding officer of Naval Station Everett, Capt. James Duke, is being reassigned while a sexual assault allegation against him is investigation, the Navy said Monday.

Rear Adm. Jeff Ruth, commander of Navy Region Northwest, will convene a Uniform Code of Military Justice Article 32 hearing to determine the disposition of a criminal court-martial charge against Duke.

The hearing is similar to a civilian grand jury proceeding, where charges and information will be considered and a recommendation will be made whether to file formal charges.

Cmdr. Jeff Caulk, the executive officer of Naval Station Everett, has temporarily assumed the duties as commanding officer of Naval Station Everett.

Duke has been reassigned to Commander, Navy Region Northwest for the duration of the military justice proceedings, the Navy said.

Navytimes.com reported that the allegation of sexual assault was levied in February by a civilian, Navy Region Northwest spokesman Chris Haley said. The Snohomish County police led the investigation, along with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, but county authorities declined to prosecute Duke, Haley told Navy Times.

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