A Navy chaplain was fired over a video allegedly showing him having sex at a bar in New Orleans, USA Today reported.
Capt. Loften Thornton, a Navy chaplain since 1992, was removed from his post at the Marine Corps on March 20 for "loss of trust and confidence," spokesman Marine Lt. Col. Ted Wong said.
Two Defense officials confirmed that authorities were investigating a video that allegedly caught Thornton having sex with a woman at a tavern located near the Marine Reserve facility, USA Today said.
The pub's owner, Neil Timms, confirmed the sexual encounter took place outside the pub by picnic tables near the road, according to the publication.
Few details about the incident have been released, but Maj. Andrew Aranda, a spokesperson for Marine Forces Reserve, told Marine Corps Times last week that they were looking into the matter.
"Marine Forces Reserve takes all allegations against any of our Marines or Sailors seriously," he said.
Chaplains are sent to the marines via the Navy to "provide a source of comfort and refuge that enables service members and their families to practice and grow in their faith and to face personal and professional challenges," according to the Navy's strategic plan for religious ministry.
Chief of Chaplains Rear Adm. Mark L. Tidd previously noted in a statement that, "when professional religious ministry is delivered effectively, chaplains can help inspire hope, strengthen spiritual well-being, increase personal resilience, and enhance mission readiness across the Naval Service."
There has been a rise in reports of sexual harassment and assault occurring within the U.S. military over the years.
According to NBC News, service members reported 6,172 cases of sexual assault in 2016, a sharp jump 2012, when 3,604 cases were reported.
In response to these escalating figures, the Pentagon recently implemented new policies to try to tackle the issue, The Hill reported.
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