A young man, Steven Munoz is the U.S. State Department’s new assistant chief of visits.Interestingly, he was picked despite being accused of numerous sexual assaults from when he was a student at The Citadel military college in Charleston, South Carolina several years ago.
The man who will be in charge of around 10 staffers organizing visits of foreign heads of state to the U.S. and arranging their meetings with the president has been accused of sexual offences that started off in 2009 and continued till 2011.
While at The Citadel, Munoz was the class president, an upperclassman and head of the Republican society of the campus. According to five men, who claim to be his victims, Munoz used his position to take advantage of them. One student reported waking up to find Munoz mounted on him, grabbing his genitals and kissing him.
“I was groggy, [Munoz] jumped on me, I felt jerking and bouncing on my back, I threw my elbow up which threw him off the bed to the floor,” alleged another student.
The college apparently carried out an investigation into the incidents upon which officials found the assaults were likely to have occurred. However, after one student reported to college officials in 2010 that Munoz had sexually assaulted him, The Citadel issued only a “warning” to Munoz instead of taking stricter action.
The young man then apparently continued his behavior as within the next year four other students stepped forward and accused Munoz of sexual assault. None of the incidents were reporter until after 2011, when Munoz had already graduated.
When he graduated, the college even awarded Munoz for “leadership, sound character and service to others.” It detailed that he had been someone who classmates could always count upon for help and assistance.
However, a year after his graduation, when more and more students reported incidents of sexual misconduct by Munoz, the college banned him from campus and referred the case to the state police, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, who carried out an in depth investigation.
One student told the police, “Munoz coerced threatened and convinced me to allow inappropriate touching, grabbing, and kissing by leading me to believe it was what I needed to do to gain acceptance in the corps of cadets. He threatened to call my upperclassmen who would be upset if I did not comply with him.”
A third man also detailed his interactions with Munoz claiming the two had met through the Republican Society. He said that Munoz often arranged meetings alone in his room where the upperclassman would “guide him” on how to land leadership positions in campus organizations.
“He instructed me to sit on his bed during these meetings. … After a few meetings he began to rub my leg with his hand. He moved his hand under my shorts and the first time I pushed his hand off my leg he said he was just playing and that he did it with his other knobs so I shouldn’t mind. I had seen this in the past and when I asked my classmates about the interaction, they said when they resisted, he yelled at them for not trusting him and Mr. Munoz made them stay longer in his room,” he alleged.
In 2012, Munoz was known to be under public investigation, but his lawyer, Andy Savage, has denied all allegations against him.
“Steven Munoz, a graduate of the Corp with a sterling reputation for honesty, integrity and all Corp values, was used as a whipping boy in an attempt by the institution to change its shameful image shaped by its ignorance of the conduct of Skip ReVille and Michael Arpaio,” Savage said referring to two men at the college who were at the center of sexual assault and child abuse scandals.
He also claimed that the reports against Monuz were politically motivated and that cadets had been “pressured to report interactions that the cadets considered typical barracks banter as if they felt it was inappropriate.”
Monuz, who has been president of a Charleston-based political consulting firm called American Southern Group, has also worked on Trump’s inaugural committee and joined the State Department on Jan. 25.
It is highly intriguing why a man with so many accusations of sexual misconduct has been appointed by the Trump administration without proper vetting. Sexual assault is a big deal and someone with an alleged history like that of Monuz should not be allowed to occupy such an important position in the State Department unless the matter is thoroughly investigated and he is cleared of all allegations.
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst