By: Tim Ryan, Courthouse News |
A graduate school for would-be spies faces a civil complaint from three young men who say they endured rectal exams and other sexual abuse from a school official with a largely fabricated spy resume.
The complaint in D.C. Superior Court offers a glimpse at the shadowy underworking of the Daniel Morgan Academy in downtown Washington. Funded primarily by the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, the school purports to launch students into the fields of national security and intelligence.
Late last year, according to the complaint, the school suspended its special adviser to the president, Mark Levin, after several young male employees of the academy reported that Levin had sexually abused them.
Three men in their 20s who say Levin abused them now want $150 million in damages from the school and Levin. Abby Moffat, CEO of the foundation that funds the school, and Alan Kelly, the academy’s vice president and special counsel, are also named as defendants.
The April 4 complaint, which the Washington Post first reported Thursday, says Moffat put Levin in a virtually untouchable position at the school because she never vetted his ostentatious claims of a supposed 50-year career in the U.S. intelligence community.
After reports of Levin’s abuse spurred a discrete investigation, according to the complaint, school president Joseph DeTrani “was reportedly able to debunk Mr. Levin’s representations of being affiliated with the IC.”
As laid out in the 52-page complaint, Levin misrepresented himself as the leader of an unspecified secret counter-terrorist organization; bragged about a supposed personal relationship with CIA Director John Brennan and other prominent members of the intelligence community; invented regular meetings at the Pentagon; and claimed to have killed 38 people.
Levin’s former employer would not issue comment on the lawsuit itself, but it defended its handling of the scandal.
“As soon as DMGS became aware of the allegations against Mark Levin, we immediately began a full independent internal investigation, reported the matter to law enforcement, and dismissed Mr. Levin,” the Daniel Morgan Graduate School said in a statement. “DMGS has zero tolerance for any unethical behavior within the institution. We are proud of the results we achieve on behalf of our students, and we look forward to continuing to focus on our core mission: educating, training, and developing leaders in the national security and intelligence communities.”
Two of the men suing the academy say Levin used his bogus credentials to recruit them in 2012. During “weapons training” at Levin’s apartment, according to the complaint, the men faced “various perverse acts of sexual abuse and harassment.”
Touting the important of hygiene, for example, Levin allegedly made it a point to personally bathe his cadets.
The men say Levin also had his trainees practice drawing and firing weapons in various states of undress, insisting that clothes interfered with muscle memory.
During invasive medical examinations, according to the complaint, Levin groped the trainees’ genitalia, digitally probed their anuses and “made lewd observations about their bodies.”
Each of the plaintiffs is suing anonymously. John Doe recalls following Levin’s instructions him to masturbate and ejaculate on his own stomach.
“Levin proceeded to play with the semen on Mr. Doe’s stomach, and then informed Mr. Doe that his semen output was insufficient and could have damaging effects on Mr. Doe’s ‘candidacy,’ and this exercise would therefore need to be repeated in the future,” the complaint states.
Though the men say they found such treatment degrading, they say they trusted Levin’s credentials and believed his threats, some veiled and some explicit, about his ability to harm them.
Doe and Richard Roe eventually accepted jobs at the academy. The third plaintiff, Paul Poe, says he started as an intern at the academy in July 2016. During a physical examination at Levin’s apartment, Poe says Levin claimed to have a medical degree and performed a prostate exam, among other humiliations.
Three days after Levin had Poe over for a follow-up genital exam, according to the complaint, Levin was suspended from the academy.
But Doe, Roe and Poe say the academy tried to bury its damaging investigation of Levin, believing that exposure would ruin them.
Tamara Miller, an attorney for the men with the firm Miller Masciola, has not returned a request for comment. Levin, who court records show is representing himself in the case, could not be reached for comment.