- On Air
- Music News
- Calendar of Events
- Support WERS
- About WERS
By Aditya Tejas
The US Naval Academy is investigating allegations that three members of the school’s football team sexually assaulted a female midshipman at an off-campus house last year, a Pentagon spokesman said Friday.
The names of the players were not made public and a Naval Academy spokesman said school leadership were monitoring the investigation.
The allegation is the latest in a series of sexual assault cases to arise in the military. The issue has become prominent enough to attract the attention of Pentagon officials. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the chiefs of each military branch are expected to testify on the issue before a Senate hearing next week.
Her attorney, Susan Burke, said the alleged assault occurred in April 2012 at an off-campus house, after a night of heavy drinking. Burke went on to say that her client reported the incident to Navy criminal investigators, but was disciplined for drinking, while the athletes were allowed to continue playing.
She said the Naval Academy Superintendent closed the investigation without bringing charges. The Navy agreed to reopen the investigation after the woman sought legal aid.
Pentagon spokesman Army Colonel Steve Warren confirmed the investigation on Friday but said he had no further details. He said academy officials are monitoring the investigations and evaluating options for adjudicating the case. Warren added that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is determined to stamp out the problem.