Katelyn FerralThe Capital Times reporter Katelyn Ferral investigated how the National Guard mishandled allegations of sexual assault and harrsassment. 

Marquette students Sophie Bolich, Sydney Czyzon and Natallie St. Onge assisted Ferral with the series. 

In December 2019, Ferral reported on an investigation by federal officials who claimed the Wisconsin Guard’s reviews of assault allegations were “an absolute train wreck.”

Four days following the release of the report showing that the Guard botched investigations of sexual assault and harrassment, the chief of the Wisconsin National Guard Adjunct General Donald Dunbar resigned.

In a later investigation that was national in scope, Ferral found that the National Guard downplayed sexual assault allegations for years and failed to take accountability. The Guard also retaliated against women who filed the allegations, taking away their promotions and re-victimizing them through a justice process that dragged on.

The team's stories got attention in Washington, D.C. and Madison.

All of Ferral’s work for the Cap Times during the Fellowship was co-edited by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a partner of the O’Brien Fellowship. 


Works published to date:

December 2019
Sweeping investigation into sexual misconduct in Wisconsin National Guard could trigger overhaul

Wisconsin National Guard advised sexual assault victims to sign waiver forms, avoid police

Wisconsin National Guard chief resigns after report shows sexual assault investigations violated state and federal law

Wisconsin National Guard’s response to sexual-assault allegations an ‘absolute train wreck,’ federal investigator says


March 18, 2021
‘Hero to Zero’: The National Guard welcomes and promotes women. That is, until they report a sexual assault.

National Guard at a glance

Sexual assault reports in the National Guard tripled in a decade. Here's what else our investigation found.

How one country offered reparations, restorative justice to military sexual assault survivors 

A maze leading nowhere: National Guard's convoluted records system hinders justice for sexual assault survivors


March 24, 2021

Congress tackles military sexual assault, but again ignores problems within the National Guard


March 29, 2021

No action from Wisconsin lawmakers more than a year after National Guard sex assault scandal


May 2021

Cap Times investigation on sexual assault in National Guard sparks federal hearing and initiatives

Baldwin presses National Guard on sexual assault


July 2021

After years of failure, Defense Department moves to address sex assault in National Guard