UP to a dozen male and female junior sailors on board the navy frigate HMAS Ballarat could face jail terms over bizarre hazing rituals involving sexual assault with objects including carrots, bananas and pens.
The sailors were allegedly targeted by other Navy personnel on their birthdays.
If proven the allegations amount to sexual assault and such offences would carry jail terms.
Investigators from the Australian Defence Force Investigative Service (ADFIS) will join the Anzac class ship at Christmas Island tomorrow and are expected to have a brief in the hands of Australian Federal Police prosecutors by early next week.
The ship was involved in a rescue at sea about 140km north of the island yesterday. ADFIS is the lead investigator because the ship has been operating outside of Australian waters.
Any sailor alleged to have participated in the sexual assaults will be landed ashore on the mainland and hit with the full force of the law.
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If convicted of an offence they will be subject to criminal sanctions and a dishonourable discharge from the senior service.
“Any senior sailor or officer who knew about this and did nothing will also be for the high jump,” a well-placed source told News Corp.
A former sailor known as “Bridget” told Channel Ten that sailors were set upon by a gang of sailors who inserted pens, pencils and water bottles in their anuses.
She also revealed that one sailor was injured when the lid of a marker pen was left behind in his anus.
“A whiteboard lid came off in his bum and that was the one who ran out screaming … because his bum was bleeding,” she said.
Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Ray Griggs is understood to be furious about the alleged rituals and he wants the full force of the law brought to bear on the perpetrators.
The message of zero tolerance for sexual abuse has not been heard by all sailors and officers and according to sources, some had said that they had been subjected to similar treatment at footy clubs and saw nothing wrong with it.