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NAPLES, Italy — Navy officials have ordered a new Article 32 investigation in the case of a Naples-based chief petty officer accused of indecent acts with a minor, fraternization and sexual harassment, officials confirmed Wednesday.

Felix Correa, 41, faces the new criminal investigation after Cmdr. Thomas O’Neill, commanding officer of Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station, decided Monday to conduct the new probe, said Chief Petty Officer John Musser, a spokesman for Navy Region Europe.

O’Neill’s decision was made public Wednesday.

Charges against Correa were dropped Dec. 14 after the original Article 32 was found to be “procedurally defective.”

Correa is a communications watch floor supervisor with the NCTS, a tenant command of Naval Support Activity Naples.

A new pretrial date has not been announced.

The original charges — the same as those preferred Monday — were dropped after the general court-martial convening authority, Rear Adm. Noel Preston, ruled that an Article 32 investigation held Nov. 15 and 16 was defective because the investigating officer, Lt. Cmdr. Kathryn McCormick, closed the entire proceeding to the public and the media.

The blanket closure prompted Stars and Stripes to file a petition with the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals, claiming the complete closure is unlawful.

With the Navy’s concession that the Article 32 process was improperly followed, and the original charges dismissed, the Navy filed a motion asking the court to toss out Stars and Stripes’ petition. On Monday, Stars and Stripes filed a petition asking the court not to dismiss its original petition. It also asked that the court make a ruling so that the public will not be barred from future proceedings.

As of Wednesday, the court had issued no rulings on either the Navy’s motion or Stripes’ petition. It was not known whether the Navy would keep the new Article 32 hearing open.


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