June 14th, 2013
06:55 PM ET

Naval Academy sex-assault probe advances

By Barbara Starr

Investigators have completed their probe of allegations that three U.S. Naval Academy football players were involved in an alleged sex assault of a female midshipmen almost a year ago, according to a Navy spokesman.

Now the academy superintendent, Vice Admiral Michael Miller, will review the Naval Criminal Investigative Service's report and decide how to proceed, said Navy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Perry.

According to a Defense Department official, the midshipmen were first accused by the female student at the time of the alleged incident, but she dropped her complaint a few months later.

She revived the complaint this year and the Navy proceeded with an investigation.

The players were not identified.

The case comes with concern mounting about sex abuse reports in the armed forces.

Recent figures show the rate of reported assaults going up. Recent high-profile cases have involved officers in the Air Force and the Army.

President Barack Obama addressed the issue overall at the Naval Academy graduation in May, saying "those who commit sexual assault are not only committing a crime, they threaten the trust and discipline that makes our military strong."

Increased reporting rates and new scrutiny have led to calls for major changes in how the military handles such cases.

The academy had a combined 51 reports of Unwanted Sexual Contact over the past three academic years, figures show. Unwanted Sexual Contact describes a range of behaviors from unwanted sexual touching to rape.

The alleged victim in the Naval Academy case spoke to CNN's Christiane Amanpour, who asked whether she thought many assaults go unreported.

"I have had people approach me telling me they wouldn't come forward if they were in my shoes. They see everything that I've been through. And for no guarantee you'll get justice. You put your career on the line. You put everything on the line – your friends – your associates – your colleagues - and for what? For a gamble that maybe you'll get justice," the woman said.

The woman does not represent the Naval Academy or the U.S. military in any official capacity.

Naval Academy spokesman John Schofield has previously said Naval Academy leadership was "evaluating the appropriate options for adjudication."

He declined to comment further.

Miller said at the time that sex assault has "no place" at the school or in the military.

A lawyer for the woman added details.

In a statement to CNN, attorney Susan Burke said she went to an off-campus party at a "football house" in April 2012 and became intoxicated, and woke up there the next morning "with little recall" of what occurred.

"She learned from social media and from friends that three football players had claimed to have had sexual intercourse with her while incapacitated," Burke said.

She reported the incident to Navy authorities and explained that she could not provide much information because she had been intoxicated, Burke said.

Burke said the woman was disciplined for drinking and the case was closed without further action by the academy.

The academy had a combined 51 reports of Unwanted Sexual Contact over the past three academic years, figures show. Unwanted Sexual Contact describes a range of behaviors from unwanted sexual touching to rape.

soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. bysunilcom

    ssure

    June 23, 2013 at 2:08 am | Reply
  2. Person of Interest

    " You put everything on the line – your friends – your associates – your colleagues – and for what? For a gamble that maybe you'll get justice"

    Doing right, regardless of the consequences, regardless who is looking or not. What's that called again... Oh yea it's called honor. That's who I want in my military. Tell those people to resign their commissions cause that isn't leadership. But you? Keep on keeping on ma'am.

    June 17, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  3. GB

    I know she didn't ask for this, but drinking like that, and the guys involved should be slammed. Both sides of the fence on this one. But closing the case like they did and no further action.

    June 17, 2013 at 5:43 am | Reply
    • GB

      I would have those guys Buffing floors forever just for starters.

      June 17, 2013 at 6:17 am | Reply
      • Portland tony

        I'd have that riff raft in jail where they belong, preferably Levenworth, Kansas!!!

        June 17, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Alair43

      Rape is rape and these men should be punished serverly, but seriously why would you drink so much that you are not even aware of what is happening to you. None of these people are officer material.

      June 19, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Reply
  4. Leftcoastrocky

    Admiral Miller - do the right thing!

    June 16, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  5. SWEJ

    Too many skirts in Congress ruining our military.

    June 16, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Reply
    • George Patton-2

      Another empty comment above from another mindless Tea Partier as if being s exually assaulted was some kind of a joke!!!

      June 16, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  6. SWEJ

    xx

    June 16, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  7. John Geheran

    Will this investigation go anywhere or will this be another not too unusual cover up? Everyone needs to be held to the same standard, but if the top brass gets it's way, this will be quite unlikely in the foreseeable future!

    June 15, 2013 at 4:07 am | Reply
  8. Portland tony

    What do you think the judicial outcome would be if a very intoxicated male midshipman were accosted in the same way?

    June 14, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Reply
    • SWEJ

      He would be commended for taking a leadership role.

      June 16, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Reply

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