HMS Queen Elizabeth rocked by fresh sex attack scandal as senior officer accused of 'groping' female sailor flown home
NAVY top brass have removed a senior officer from HMS Queen Elizabeth after he was accused of having ‘groped’ a British female sailor on deployment.
The alleged incident took place earlier this month while the British flagship was visiting Guam.
It’s been reported the unnamed suspect assaulted his female victim during a ‘social function’ during the stay.
The allegation has sparked an investigation by the Senior Service and the officer has since been flown back to the UK to ‘work from home’.
A spokesman for the navy added: ‘An investigation is underway. It would be inappropriate to comment further.’
Rear-Admiral Chris Parry, a former naval commander, said officers were ‘role models and professionals’ and must act so.
‘It might seem old-fashioned, but in all circumstances a naval officer is expected to be a gentleman. If the Royal Navy is to maintain its competitive edge, our people in senior positions need to be role models and professionals in every respect,’ he told The Telegraph.
The incident is the latest sex scandal to hit the £3.2bn aircraft carrier during her maiden operational mission.
Ashley James Mansell, 31, and Fraser Malek, 28, appeared before a judge at the Superior Court of Guam following the fracas in the coastal town of Tumon.
It is alleged that Mansell sexually assaulted a woman while at a nightclub in the town.
Then Mansell and Malek are accused of getting into a fight with the women’s friends in the street, where it is claimed Malek punched a man so hard it caused him to lose consciousness.
A second man assaulted by Mansell needed surgery to fix two fractures to his jaw.
Mansell was arrested after he fled into the jungle following the fight, court documents added.
The sailor was charged with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct as a misdemeanour and public drunkenness as a violation. He also was charged separately with aggravated assault as a third-degree felony.
While his comrade, Malek, was charged with two counts of assault as a misdemeanour.
The pair of sailors were released by the court and have been ordered to remain confined on board Queen Elizabeth.
A defence source told The News that the Royal Navy ‘demands the highest standards’ and where an individual fails to meet these standards ‘appropriate action will be taken’.
A Royal Navy spokesman added: ‘Two members of the Royal Navy are assisting US authorities with their enquires. As this is an ongoing investigation it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.’