Three Naval Academy football players charged with sexual assault

The three men were also charged with making false statements in connection with the assault

Topics: military sexual assault, military sexual trauma, u.s. naval academy, Sexual assault, Violence Against Women, Navy, Military, U.S. Military, ,

Three Naval Academy football players charged with sexual assault (Credit: AP)

Three football players at the United States Naval Academy were charged Wednesday for the alleged sexual assault of a female midshipman, according to the academy.

The three men were also charged with making false statements in connection with the assault, which occurred last year.

As Salon previously reported, the investigation into the incident began more than a year ago:

“She woke up at the football house the next morning with little recall of what had occurred. She learned from friends and social media that three football players were claiming to have had sexual intercourse with her while she was incapacitated,” Susan Burke, the woman’s attorney, said in a statement. The woman reported the alleged assault but was pressured by members of the football team not to cooperate with the initial investigation, according to Burke. While no charges were filed after the initial investigation, the woman was disciplined for consuming alcohol.

The woman reported the alleged assault but was pressured by members of the football team not to cooperate with the initial investigation, according to Burke. While no charges were filed after the initial investigation, the woman was disciplined for consuming alcohol.

In early 2013, the woman sought additional legal counsel and the Navy re-opened the case. “Over time, the midshipman [student] began to recover from the trauma, and became angered at the lack of justice and retaliation in her case,” Burke said.

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Burke criticized the academy’s treatment of the victim and the alleged perpetrators during the investigation, saying the probe raised “troubling questions” and “reflects why rape victims are fearful and skeptical of the military justice system,” according to the Washington Post.

The victim was disciplined for underage drinking following the alleged assault, but the accused were not. The three men were also allowed to continue playing for the football team while under investigation, and the victim was required to attend these games, according to Burke.

 

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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