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.

Opinion: Soldiers and sex - can men evolve?

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.

Daughters and moms now consider rape before applying to the military

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    June 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Reply
    • Steve

      Let me guess, the military wouldn't take you so you found God to make you feel better about yourself.
      "Morals such as "thou shalt not kill" are no longer valid to them, so is murder is okay to them of course rape and abuse are going to be okay. We need to teach our children to choose morals, not the military."
      Unless you have served, you have no idea what morals they teach. You have no idea what kind of people serve. Maybe we shouldn't have cops because they have no morals either. Since some are bad, that means all are bad. Some doctors are doctors only for the money and abortiob doctors muder kids so therefore, let our child pick morals and not medicine.

      June 18, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Reply
      • Portland tony

        You have to admit Steve, that much of what Jim said above is very true indeed. The military shouldn't lessen the values of our young people. They're low enough already thanks to their ignorant parents who think that war is a "good" thing!

        June 18, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
      • Steve


        I've served for 21 years in 2 services. I'm an O-4 now and nothing that is being taught in bootcamp is to lessen the value of life. Are they taught to kill, yes because other countries are doing the same. You can't hold 1.4 million servicemen accountable for what 100 do every year. Lets go to a normal college campus and see what happens in a fraternity house or lets see how many kids have been molested in churches and measure the per capita.

        June 18, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • George Patton

      Quite true Jim, quite true. This is one reason why we have become a sick society and less of a Christian nation and why so many sickos here favor all these obnoxious wars that we're in!

      June 18, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Reply
    • Joe Oster

      You are so very wrong, and your comments are sad. My son just graduated from the Naval Academy, along with 1000 other brilliant, caring, and moral kids who have traded their youth to protect your right to be ignorant.

      All of the midshipmen are devastated by the actions of a few idiots. They are all proud, hard-working, and grieving over this.

      Support our most spectacular asset, these kids.

      June 18, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  83. NNN

    Whatever it takes to expose the Navy as the bunch of low-lifes they are and always have been...

    June 18, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Reply
    • Joe Oster

      Let me guess: You're enlisted Army.

      June 18, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  84. Pablo

    In so many of these casse a man's recklessness makes him a criminal, and a woman's recklessness makes her a victim.

    June 18, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Reply
    • Barry G.

      How many men are victimized by women?

      And how many women are victimized by women?


      June 18, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Reply
      • Thinking

        Four drunk sailors not able to remember what they said or did.. only one is believed because of their gender? Is this the way it should be in our society? From your definition, I have been raped 2 times, waking up beside someone I would never have slept with had I been sober.

        June 18, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Barry G.

      And how many women are victimized by men?

      Let's not blame the victims. Let's protect them and advocate for justice, on their behalf.

      June 18, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Reply
    • Steve

      In what possible way does a women's recklessness allow a man to rape her. Unless you believe that your 'recklessness' would give a man permission to rape you.

      June 18, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Reply
    • Sheepleherder

      There is a world of difference between "reckless" and criminal. These were supposed to be the best this country has to offer, our best should be able to tell the difference between the two.

      June 18, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Reply
      • Steve

        I do not advocate the rape or harassment of any servicemen but everyone here is holding 1.4 million uniformed people accountable for what a handful are doing. No matter how hard they try with training, alcohol and youth make for bad and criminal decisions. DC or Baltimore has less people than the military, we should compare numbers on violent crimes.

        June 18, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  85. Chris Kilgus

    A senior officer will decide if a court martial shall proceed. However, that decision is not final. It can always be overruled by the commanding officer. That is a place where the whole military justice system is flawed.

    June 18, 2013 at 11:46 am | Reply
    • Steve

      Chris, they announced last month that the CO will no longer have the authority to stop inquieries into a rape case.

      June 18, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  86. luvlar

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    A judge Friday awarded Long Beach Unified School District $2.6 million from a former student who falsely accused Poly High football star Brian Banks of raping her, for which the district paid her damages.
    The district announced the decision late Friday in an e-mailed statement. It had paid student Wanetta Gibson $750,000 after Banks was convicted of raping her on campus. When the football player with college and pro promise was released from prison, Gibson contacted him on Facebook and later recanted the rape charge in a secretly recorded meeting. Gibson later admitted to the court she lied about the rape.

    June 18, 2013 at 11:17 am | Reply
    • John

      Which means what? That every reported rape is a lie?

      June 18, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Reply
  87. Eh

    If the men had been drinking technically they couldn't give consent either.

    June 18, 2013 at 11:15 am | Reply
  88. HeyHey

    Sounds like a lot of folks be waking up after a crazy night and start calling everything rape.

    June 18, 2013 at 10:27 am | Reply
  89. me

    Why doesn't CNN use the same comment mechanism for sections???

    June 18, 2013 at 9:40 am | Reply
    • me

      * all sections

      June 18, 2013 at 9:40 am | Reply
  90. Johnsonj3

    This type of thing has been going on for years and the men have been getting away with it. Gald this young ladies are telling what happen to them..

    June 18, 2013 at 9:16 am | Reply
  91. GrowUp

    Don't rush to judgment one way or the other. Trial first, judgment after.

    June 18, 2013 at 8:45 am | Reply
  92. Andrew

    These comments make me sad.

    Charges haven't even been filed yet and most of the commenters have already deemed a guilty verdict.

    Do we remember how our justice system works? Innocent until proven guilty?

    June 17, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Reply
    • Portland tony

      Reading about something somebody did to you on social media.....reporting the incident and being disciplined for being so intoxicated (passed out) you couldn't give consent even if you choose to.....Jeez

      June 17, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Reply
      • Pat

        and what if it was your Mother or Sister in that position?

        June 18, 2013 at 8:27 am |
    • George Patton

      Another ignorant Tea Partier taking up for these creeps. I wonder how he'd feel if someone in his family fell victim to these Clowns! They'll probably get off with a slap on the wrist as usual!

      June 17, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Reply
      • Andrew

        An accusation is not a verdict.

        If these young men are found guilty in court, I will be the first to condemn their actions.

        A CNN report of an accusation is hardly condemning evidence.

        June 17, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
      • InMyHappyPlace

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        June 18, 2013 at 8:31 am |
  93. Portland tony

    @ Jeff ....What do you think the judicial outcome would be if a very intoxicated male midshipman were accosted in the same way? These violated women are our daughters....stupid, drunk or not.....they deserve the same respect as any future jet pilot or ship' commander would get at a military academy.....

    June 17, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Reply
    • InMyHappyPlace

      Reading your post I was a little surprised at how you basically state these women should be treated equally or maybe just with the same respect as others. Yet you compare that equality and respect to those going to be pilots and captains. It does not sound like you expect them to be able to achieve the same positions as their equals. Maybe it is just the wording, but it read differently to me.

      June 18, 2013 at 8:35 am | Reply
      • Portland tony

        Any midshipman can qualify for command , however women are limited in their career path by Naval tradition and congressional edict!

        June 18, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
      • Steve

        @Tony, Thats old school. They have female ship Commanding Officers in all of the naval services. The USCG has had 2 female Vice Commandants.

        June 18, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • SeeThruIt2

      The female midshipman’s future career in the Navy is already destroyed.

      She’s now looking for some other notoriety by re-opening her charges. The fact that she got so drunk as to pass out is a punishable offense in the military. The fact that she reported it then made sure that her commanding officer must investigate all wrong-doing. And the fact that she admits to being so drunk as to pass out will be entered into her military personnel file, and it will be seen by every promotion board that she has a problem with excessive alcohol.

      Male or female, the military would treat the victim the same way: Admission of guilt of excessive alcohol use would be entered into their record and they would be offered an Article 15 (non-judicial punishment without trial by admitting guilt).

      June 18, 2013 at 9:30 am | Reply
      • waheid

        It is not true that "Male or female, the military would treat the victim the same way." The military, and specifically the U.S. Naval Academy, has been treating female rape victims very differently than victims of other types of assaults. This is especially true at USNA when the accused is/are members of the football team who are protected from the normal course of justice. When the military gets serious about rape - something they have yet to do - then perhaps we can say that all victims are treated the same.

        June 18, 2013 at 10:35 am |
      • murph

        I don't see anywhere that there was drinking involved. Did you read this somewhere else because it is not in the article above.

        June 18, 2013 at 10:41 am |
  94. Matt

    So, it's just like any other college then?

    June 17, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Reply
    • erchan2000

      So we should ignore it then?

      June 17, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Reply
  95. Name*penguin

    Men, women, and alcohol can be a dangerous combination. I told my children to avoid situations where these things can happen.

    June 17, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Reply
    • Pat

      Why not just teach your BOYS to TREAT WOMEN with RESPECT and there is no avoid neccesaary. simple

      June 18, 2013 at 8:28 am | Reply
      • InMyHappyPlace

        The operative word would be "children". Gender was not identified. Maybe she was telling her daughters to avoid situations where they could avoid being raped. Also, I agree with the idea of avoiding situations. if you know a party is going to become a drunken event, stay away or leave early. Avoid the situation by not becoming one of the drunks that would be the victim or the victimizer.

        June 18, 2013 at 8:48 am |
      • Bobpitt

        Goes both ways Lady.. Teach your daughters not to be loosy goosy..

        June 18, 2013 at 9:28 am |
      • JSB

        You can prevent rape by preventing offspring.... but that doesn't do the species any good.

        Some people will do stupid stuff no matter what you 'teach them' Some girls will accuse anyone of 'violating' them if it will get them attention (see recent CA case). Some guys will take advantage of girls (and some girls will take advantage of guys for that matter). Rather than assume that because an accusation is made that the accused must automatically be guilty. How about demanding a standard of proof from the accuser.

        June 18, 2013 at 11:14 am |
  96. jeff

    I saw this one happen a lot in the Air Force. Women go out partying with the guys and make bad alcohol fueled decisions. The next day they are really upset about what happened the night before and buy law a drunk woman can't consent. The military is a heavy drinking culture that puts college parties to shame.

    June 17, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Reply
    • InMyHappyPlace

      AMEN – 10 years in the AF and the last place you would find me is at the Enlisted/NCO club getting drunk with the boys. Being a single enlisted person it was expected. And yes, I know of plenty of females that ended up in bed and some pregnant, because they two spent more time being drunk than they did most anything else. Truth is I was looked over for training and reassignment because I was not part of the Good Ole Boys Club.

      June 18, 2013 at 8:57 am | Reply
  97. 89

    I hope military becomes gay friendly and helps a lot of people come out of closet.

    June 17, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Reply
    • str8t69

      Why do bring up the gay mental illness? This article is about rape.

      June 18, 2013 at 9:03 am | Reply
  98. bigbiz

    Keep women out of the service academies...

    June 17, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Reply
    • Jen L

      Then they will merely rape a DIFFERENT woman.

      One of the biggest problems with blaming women for their rapes is that "don't get raped" is actually "make sure it's someone else who gets raped instead of you." That doesn't solve anything.

      June 18, 2013 at 8:43 am | Reply
    • JSB

      This is not a solution.

      June 18, 2013 at 11:15 am | Reply
  99. Big Weenie

    So they raped another member of the team?

    Not surprised

    June 17, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  100. George Patton-2

    Let's all hope that justice will be done here for one time instead of another military whitewash to make itself look good. I'm afraid that just may be wishful thinking on my part. I expect to see a lot of "macho makes right" idiots blog in here to take up for these lowlifes who committed the assault as usual with their Tea Party mentality.

    June 17, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Reply
    • BH


      June 17, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Reply
    • EE

      The fact that you have to throw that Tea Part comment at the end makes me sad i read the beginning. You made some valid points but to assume the far right would defend these people based on their conservative beliefs is crazy. You are the same reason we can't get anything progressive done in this country because your automatically labeled a "crazy" leftist socialist or "idiot" tea party member instead of actually debating the issues.

      June 17, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Reply
      • woodie

        I feel the same. We get a lot of senseless comments by both the right and the left. None of this has anything to do with rape of a student. I just hope she gets justice. I don't want these rapists to think they can get away with this. We certainly don't want rapists running amoke in public with no working legal system to contain them.

        June 17, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
      • Diogenes


        June 18, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
      • Diogenes

        Exactly, forgive the iPad spelling in the last reply

        June 18, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • jeff

      Nope, she was drunk out of her mind so by law she didn't consent, even if she was cheering them on.

      June 17, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Reply
      • Portland tony

        Next time you get drunk, I'm sure you'll be cheering the guys to get it in? Huh!

        June 17, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
    • KJH

      I'd post my opinion regarding that comment, but I am concerned about turning my thoughts and feelings into data that can be stored by the Government without a warrant. Good to see a fellow military member speaking out against all the "whitewashing" that goes on in the service.

      June 18, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Reply
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