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3 USNA Football Players Face Sexual Assault Probe

Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

Three Naval Academy football players are under investigation for sexually assaulting a female midshipman, Academy officials confirmed Thursday.

The Naval Academy would not name the players under investigation or say when the investigation started.

"Naval Academy leadership is monitoring the progress of this investigation and evaluating the appropriate options for adjudication," said Cmdr. John Schofield, the Naval Academy spokesman. "It is completely inappropriate to make any other public comment on this investigation or any ongoing investigation as we risk compromising the military justice process."

Naval Academy officials could not say when they expected the investigation into the three Naval Academy football players to be completed.

Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Michael Miller and Navy Football Coach Ken Niumatalolo were not made available to comment on the investigation because it is ongoing.

There are few details available on the investigation as it remains ongoing. However, it comes to light six days after President Obama spoke at the Naval Academy graduation and challenged the newly commissioned officers to combat the growing problem of sexual assault in the service academies and the military at large.

A recent Defense Department survey said that sexual assault incidents in the ranks increased in 2012 to 26,000 from 19,000 in 2010. A survey of the service academies also found an increase in sexual assault within all three academies.

Compared to 2011, the Air Force Academy in Colorado showed the largest increase in sexual assaults from 33 to 52 in 2012. Sexual assaults at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., increased from 11 to 15, and the numbers were up at West Point from 10 to 13.

Currently, a Marine Corps major is charged with raping a female midshipman while he was a history instructor at the Naval Academy. The court martial is underway at the Washington Navy Yard.

Marine Maj. Mark A. Thompson has been charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault, two counts of fraternization and three counts of conduct unbecoming an officer. The court martial started on Tuesday.

At West Point, a sergeant first class is under investigation for allegedly planting cameras in the showers and locker rooms of female cadets.

In 2006, former Navy quarterback Lamar Owens was acquitted of raping a fellow former midshipman while the two were at the Naval Academy. However, he was convicted by a court martial panel of conduct unbecoming of an officer and violating a direct order.

He was later expelled from the Naval Academy in 2007 following the controversial back and forth after he was initially sentenced to "no punishment."

Related Topics

Naval Academy Crime in the Military Michael Hoffman
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