June 17th, 2013
04:25 PM ET

Charges possible in Navy football sex assault claim

By Barbara Starr

Up to three U.S. Naval Academy football players could in coming days face charges relating to an alleged sex assault of a fellow midshipman, a Navy official told CNN.

Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Michael Miller has ordered an Article 32 proceeding in which evidence is presented during a hearing to a military legal officer, who decides whether to proceed with a court-martial, the official said.

The official, who declined to be named, would not say if all three athletes could face charges.

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.

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Miller made the decision to refer the case for possible prosecution after reviewing a Naval Criminal Investigative Service report on the alleged incident last year.

According to a Defense Department official, the players were accused by the female student at the time of the alleged incident, but she subsequently dropped the matter.

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

The players have not been identified.

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