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  • 3 charged in Naval Academy rape

    Rape charges filed against three Naval Academy football players
    June 19

    Three U.S. Naval Academy football players were charged Wednesday with raping a female midshipman and making false statements in the latest sexual assault scandal to roil the elite service academy. The academy filed the charges but did not identify the accused. Their names will officially be made public at a preliminary hearing known as an Article 32 that will probably take place later this summer, military law experts said. The proceedings will become a closely watched case study of how the U.S. military polices sexual violence within its ranks.

    Within weeks of the release of a Pentagon study that said an estimated 26,000 U.S. service personnel reported “unwanted sexual contact” last year, a panoply of high-ranking generals appeared June 4 before a Senate panel to testify about the military’s handling of sexual assaults. Although many were openly critical of the military’s record, they successfully beat back an effort, spearheaded by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), to take away their authority over such cases. The three Naval Academy athletes, including one whose graduation in May was held up because he was under investigation, are accused of sexually assaulting a female midshipman during an April 2012 party at an off-campus house used by academy football players.

    The purpose of an Article 32 hearing is to help the Naval Academy superintendent decide whether the case merits a general court-martial, which is the military equivalent of a criminal trial. The hearing is conducted by an officer chosen from outside the superintendent’s chain of command, who reviews the evidence and examines witnesses. The defense and prosecution also can cross-examine witnesses. The hearing officer then comes up with findings and passes recommendations to the superintendent. Under military law, the maximum penalty for rape is life in prison without the possibility of parole and a dishonorable discharge, said Lisa Windsor, a former judge advocate general who is in private practice in Washington. The maximum penalty for making false statements is five years in prison and a dishonorable discharge.
    Source: Washington Post

    As I understand it, the alleged rape victim was reprimanded for an alcohol violation. Annapolis has what is called an 'Honor Concept'. Unlike the other service academy honor codes, the Honor Concept allows a midshipman to confront someone committing an honor violation without formally reporting it. At the other academies, failure to formally report an honor violation is construed as tolerating it which is itself a violation of the code. Due to the potential for conflict of interest and the realities of career advancement, I also question the military wisdom of allowing a commanding officer to adjudicate complaints of sexual impropriety/assault.

    Notes: Honor Concept - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  • #2
    As rape would violate the Law of the State, is there Military jurisdiction in this case? Have the Military exclusive control or can it be referred to a civilian Court?

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    • #3
      It'd be a military court for the accused.

      The academies have regular people, and sadly events like this happen. All we can ask is that the full weight of military justice fall on the guilty.

      The honor code was a unique event in my life. It is a LOT harder to execute properly than people think. Even honorable people engage in white lies now and then. Cadets are permitted only one form of deception, that of "tact."

      "How is your chicken dinner tonight, cadet?"

      "Well ma'am, the chicken is dry and stringy, and the sauce is almost inedible."

      That won't go down well at the commander's dinner, so you are permitted to be tactful. I challenge people curious about it to go a month without ever, ever telling a deception, and omission counts as well. It's tough. Yes, you have to incriminate yourself (or friends) if asked. "Were you out after taps last night, cadet?" "Yes I was" when you know you could easily avoid the punishment.

      The good part about the honor code - you could leave a wallet stuffed with cash lying on the library table, and it'll be there a week later. Theft was unknown in the dorms.
      Last edited by Chogy; 22 Jun 13,, 14:52.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Chogy View Post
        It'd be a military court for the accused.

        The academies have regular people, and sadly events like this happen. All we can ask is that the full weight of military justice fall on the guilty.

        The honor code was a unique event in my life. It is a LOT harder to execute properly than people think. Even honorable people engage in white lies now and then. Cadets are permitted only one form of deception, that of "tact."

        "How is your chicken dinner tonight, cadet?"

        "Well ma'am, the chicken is dry and stringy, and the sauce is almost inedible."

        That won't go down well at the commander's dinner, so you are permitted to be tactful. I challenge people curious about it to go a month without ever, ever telling a deception, and omission counts as well. It's tough. Yes, you have to incriminate yourself (or friends) if asked. "Were you out after taps last night, cadet?" "Yes I was" when you know you could easily avoid the punishment.

        The good part about the honor code - you could leave a wallet stuffed with cash lying on the library table, and it'll be there a week later. Theft was unknown in the dorms.
        Omission counts, but you are permitted to be tactful? Pardon me but I don't get it. I would have thought omitting certain details would be tactful.

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        • #5
          Rape in the officers academy!!!...those creeps have ended their careers before it even started. It's a court martial offence.

          Cheers!...on the rocks!!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by chanjyj View Post
            Omission counts, but you are permitted to be tactful? Pardon me but I don't get it. I would have thought omitting certain details would be tactful.
            Tact is simple... if it is a matter of being polite, you may do so. It's the classic "does this dress make me look fat?" quandary.

            If you lie (even by omission) so as to gain advantage for yourself, avoid punishment or duty, you are in violation. It's not hard.

            There was even question about "lying" in sports. Is it a lie to deceive your opponent with a head-fake in basketball? Of course not.

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            • #7
              I was a 90-day (actually 120-day ;)) wonder from the Navy's Officer Candidate School (OCS). In my 25-years of active duty, I worked with officers from all of the services, and from all possible commissioning sources (Academy, ROTC, OCS, direct commissioning from the ranks). I believe the academies are fine institutions, however, my sense is that some (but by no means all) officers with whom I served spent four years learning how to get over on the system; perhaps an example of your "tact" chogy. Also, and this applies solely to the US Naval Academy alumni, although the same thing might occur in the other services; if you think there isn't an "Annapolis Protective Society" operating sub rosa in the Navy, you are living in a fool's paradise.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dave lukins View Post
                As rape would violate the Law of the State, is there Military jurisdiction in this case? Have the Military exclusive control or can it be referred to a civilian Court?
                Having been the investigating officer in a few Article 32s, the location of the crime can have a bearing on jurisdiction. I've seen cases where the Navy for instance basically cuts ties for all intents and purposes with the accused and throws them to the civilian wolves. I once investigated a Reserve Captain, a JAG no less, for defrauding the government (claiming to be drilling when she wasn't . . . she was a real piece of work). I referred her for court martial and she rolled over and some sort of deal was cut for her to retire as a Commander and pay back the money she basically stole. I was out of the picture by then so I don't really know the particulars in that regard. Regardless, if this crime was committed on board the military reservation otherwise known as the US Naval Academy, it's the Navy's jurisdiction.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by desertswo View Post
                  I was a 90-day (actually 120-day ;)) wonder from the Navy's Officer Candidate School (OCS). In my 25-years of active duty, I worked with officers from all of the services, and from all possible commissioning sources (Academy, ROTC, OCS, direct commissioning from the ranks). I believe the academies are fine institutions, however, my sense is that some (but by no means all) officers with whom I served spent four years learning how to get over on the system; perhaps an example of your "tact" chogy. Also, and this applies solely to the US Naval Academy alumni, although the same thing might occur in the other services; if you think there isn't an "Annapolis Protective Society" operating sub rosa in the Navy, you are living in a fool's paradise.
                  Read a book by an ex-nuke submariner enlisted man where he gave his assessment of the USNA. It went something like this:

                  "The absolute worst officers I ever served under were always USNA grads. The absolute best officers I ever served under were always USNA grads."
                  TwentyFiveFortyFive

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                    Read a book by an ex-nuke submariner enlisted man where he gave his assessment of the USNA. It went something like this:

                    "The absolute worst officers I ever served under were always USNA grads. The absolute best officers I ever served under were always USNA grads."
                    And therein lies the conundrum. I once had a kid from the "Boat School" as it is sometimes fondly, or not, known in the Navy, who was so screwed up it absolutely defied description. The kicker was that he had been recommended to attend the Academy while serving as a 3rd Class Machinist Mate. I told my CO, a NROTC grad from the University of Iowa that I really wanted to meet the officer who thought this dipshit needed to be in charge of something, and that the American people should foot the bill to educate him for the job. I'd have ripped his nuts off and stuffed them up his nose.

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