Eric Massa, the gift that keeps on giving. According to shipmates from his days in the Navy, Massa had a well-known habit of hitting on his fellow sailors, information that was supplied to the Congressional ethics committee. Massa resigned the next day.
According to Peter Clarke, a Navy shipmate, Massa was notorious for making unwanted advances toward subordinates. He tells the story of his friend Stuart Borsch, with whom Massa shared a hotel room while on leave during the first Gulf War. “Stuart’s at the edge of the bed,” Clarke says Borsch told him at the time, “and [Massa] starts massaging him. Massa said, ‘You’ll have to get one of my special massages.’ He called them ‘Massa Massages.'” Ron Moss, a Navy shipmate and Borsch’s roommate, confirmed that Borsch told him this story at the time. Borsch, now a history professor at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts, didn’t addresss that specific incident, but did confirm to me in an email that he was groped by Massa: “In 1990, aboard the U.S.S. Jouett, I was awakened when a senior officer, Lt. Commander Massa, seemed to be groping me. (I was a lieutenant at the time.) I believe he may have been drinking. I shouted at him and he left. I mentioned the incident to several other officers. I did not officially report it.”
Clarke says that Massa’s roommate, Tom Maxfield was also assaulted. “Tom lived on upper bunk,” Clarke say. “When you’re on ship, you’re almost exhausted 24-7. So a lot of times you sleep with your uniform on. Tom and Massa shared a stateroom together. Massa climbed up on the top of his bunk, which is hard to do–you never crawl up on somebody else’s bunk. He wakes up to Massa undoing his pants trying to snorkel him.” Ron Moss also confirmed hearing this story from Maxfield. Maxfield did return calls and messages left for him–I’ll update if he does.
I give it five minutes until the wingnuts use Eric Massa as the prime example of why DADT should not be repealed. Even though DADT certainly didn’t stop Eric Massa, a purported STRAIGHT man who wouldn’t be affected by the policy.