A U.S. Border Patrol agent abruptly resigned in October after it was revealed that he had forced a female employee to have sex with him, and other women had also reported similar abuse, three Department of Homeland Security officials said. .
Tony Barker, who served as the head of the Border Patrol, is now being investigated for his conduct by the Customs and Border Protection Office of Professional Responsibility, the three officials said.
According to sources, the other woman said she agreed with Barker about what she had tried to do, prompting Barker to retaliate. Barker allegedly threatened to tell others that he had illegally awarded contracts if he did not engage in sexual misconduct.
Since she came forward with her allegations at DHS, several other women who worked with Barker have made similar complaints, the sources said.
Barker quietly retired in October after two decades with the Border Patrol. A career appointee who has served in several federal agencies, Barker most recently served as CBP’s point person at the Southwest Border Command Center, a group of agencies established to deal with increased immigration at the border.
In his statement, Tony Barker said: “The allegations that I forced any woman to sleep with him or abused them are completely false. I am proud of my 21 years of service with the United States Border Patrol. think about my family and look for other opportunities.”
A CBP spokesperson said, “Effective Oct. 14, 2022, Tony Barker is no longer an employee of the US Border Patrol.”
“We do not tolerate wrongdoing among ourselves. When we become aware of any suspected or potential wrongdoing, we immediately refer it for investigation and fully cooperate with any criminal or administrative investigation. This is the case whether or not the alleged wrongdoing actually happened. Confidentiality laws prohibit discussing individual cases.”
This story was originally published on NBCNews.com