Naval Academy sex-assault probe advances

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Investigators have completed their probe of sex assault allegations involving three U.S. Naval Academy football players and turned the matter over to the school’s superintendent, a Navy spokesman said.

Vice Adm. Michael Miller will review the Naval Criminal Investigative Service’s report on the alleged assault of a female midshipman last year and decide how to proceed, said Navy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Perry.

According to a Defense Department official, the midshipmen were first accused by the female student at the time of the alleged incident, but she dropped her complaint a few months later.

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

The players were not identified.

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.

President Barack Obama addressed the issue overall at the Naval Academy graduation in May, saying “those who commit sexual assault are not only committing a crime, they threaten the trust and discipline that makes our military strong.”

Increased reporting rates and new scrutiny have led to calls for major changes in how the military handles such cases.

The academy had a combined 51 reports of Unwanted Sexual Contact over the past three academic years, figures show. Unwanted Sexual Contact describes a range of behaviors from unwanted sexual touching to rape.

The alleged victim in the Naval Academy case spoke to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, who asked whether she thought many assaults go unreported.

“I have had people approach me telling me they wouldn’t come forward if they were in my shoes. They see everything that I’ve been through. And for no guarantee you’ll get justice. You put your career on the line. You put everything on the line – your friends – your associates – your colleagues — and for what? For a gamble that maybe you’ll get justice,” the woman said.

The woman does not represent the Naval Academy or the U.S. military in any official capacity.

Naval Academy spokesman John Schofield has previously said Naval Academy leadership was “evaluating the appropriate options for adjudication.”

He declined to comment further.

Miller said at the time that sex assault has “no place” at the school or in the military.

A lawyer for the woman added details.

In a statement to CNN, attorney Susan Burke said she went to an off-campus party at a “football house” in April 2012 and became intoxicated, and woke up there the next morning “with little recall” of what occurred.

“She learned from social media and from friends that three football players had claimed to have had sexual intercourse with her while incapacitated,” Burke said.

She reported the incident to Navy authorities and explained that she could not provide much information because she had been intoxicated, Burke said.

Burke said the woman was disciplined for drinking and the case was closed without further action by the academy.

The academy had a combined 51 reports of Unwanted Sexual Contact over the past three academic years, figures show. Unwanted Sexual Contact describes a range of behaviors from unwanted sexual touching to rape.