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Academy Investigates Alleged Sex Assault Of Female Midshipman

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
May 31, 2013

The U.S. Naval Academy is investigating allegations that a female midshipman was sexually assaulted last year by members of the academy’s football team, a Pentagon spokesman says.

The woman alleges that three men from the team assaulted her at an off-campus house in April 2012. She says she was “ostracized” on the Annapolis campus after reporting the attack, according to Susan Burke, a lawyer for the woman.

Burke says Naval Academy Superintendent Michael Miller closed an investigation without charges last year even though some of the alleged attackers admitted their involvement.

That investigation was reopened and Navy criminal investigators have submitted a report with “additional corroborating evidence,” according to The Associated Press.

“The entire [Naval Academy] community knows about this,” Burke said in an interview with AP.

The names of the players were not made public and the Naval Academy declined further comment.

Burke said her client woke up with bruises after a night of heavy drinking. She “later learned from friends and social media that three football players — whom she considered friends — were claiming to have had sex with her while she was intoxicated and blacked out,” according to the AP.

The allegations are the latest in a spate of incidents in recent weeks that have embarrassed the military, including accusations of abuse against a member of the Fort Hood sexual assault response team and the arrest of the head of the Fort Campbell sexual-harassment program on domestic dispute charges.

The incidents have led to an order that all U.S. military branches “retrain, re-credential and rescreen all sexual assault and response personnel and military recruiters.”

And President Obama, speaking to Naval Academy graduates last week, said that “those who commit sexual assaults are not only committing a crime, they threaten the trust and discipline that make our military strong.” [Copyright 2013 NPR]

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