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Gay Sailor Terrorized by Unit Mates for Years


A sailor stationed in Bahrain was brutalized for two years after his unit mates started to suspect that he is gay.

Petty Officer Third Class Joseph Rocha was assigned to the Bahrain Military Working Dogs Division, according to Youth Radio, which uncovered military documents chronicling the abuse.

Rocha's unit mates reportedly abused him by tying him to a chair and pushing him, still bound, into a dog kennel full of feces. The sailor also said he was forced to simulate oral sex with a man more than 30 times, on video tape, as part of a training exercise to teach sailors how to respond to a hypothetical complaint about homosexual sex. They also reportedly hit him as hard as they could repeatedly while forcing him to bend over a desk.

The abuse began six weeks into his deployment in 2004 when he was ostracized for not being interested in prostitutes.

While one of the sailors involved was later promoted as chief, even though documentation of the abuse was on record with the Navy, Rocha was eventually discharged for revealing voluntarily that he is gay.

Rocha did not report the abuse to the Navy until 2006, for fear of retaliation and discharge under the military's ban on openly gay service members.

An investigation was not launched until a colleague filed a complaint.

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