A staffer hired by the Trump administration for a prominent role in the State Department has been accused of sexual assault by five cadets at The Citadel military college, where he was a student, ProPublica reported on Wednesday.
Steven Munoz, a former staffer on Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign, will serve as the assistant chief of visits at the State Department, where he will help arrange foreign leaders’ visits to the United States. Before he was hired at the State Department, Munoz worked as a consultant for the Trump campaign and for the Inaugural Committee, per ProPublica.
Accusations of sexual assault against Munoz first surfaced back in 2012, when Buzzfeed News obtained an email showing that he was accused of inappropriate behavior by younger cadets while he attended The Citadel.
One cadet said that Munoz made unwelcome sexual advances in 2010, and another said that Munoz assaulted or groped him on three separate occasions in 2012, the Post and Courier newspaper reported at the time without naming Munoz. An email obtained by Buzzfeed News confirmed that Munoz was the suspect.
When initial accusations of sexual assault against Munoz surfaced in the press in 2012, his lawyer, Andy Savage, told the newspaper that the allegations were merely political attempts to hurt Munoz and Santorum.
Now, ProPublica reports that five students at The Citadel have accused Munoz of sexual assault while he was a student there. One incident was reported in 2010, prompting The Citadel to give Munoz a warning, and the other four incidents were reported after Munoz graduated in 2011, according to ProPublica.
One student said he woke up with Munoz on top of him, kissing and groping him, according to the report. In another incident, Munoz allegedly jumped on a student in bed during a trip to Washington, D.C. for the Conservative Political Action Conference.
The Citadel investigated those incidents and in 2014 found that they “likely occurred,” according to ProPublica. A local prosecutor declined to prosecute Munoz, however.