Third AFA Cadet Headed to Court Over Sexual Assault Allegations

An Air Force Academy track and field athlete faces a Wednesday hearing on charges that he sexually assaulted a female cadet at the school.

Sophomore cadet Jackson Spalding earned four state titles in shot put and discus for Discovery Canyon High School before moving on to the academy. He's charged with groping a female cadet's breast, fondling her genitalia, and shoving his groin in her face while saying "You know you want to," court papers say.

Wednesday's hearing will examine whether there's sufficient evidence to court-martial him for the March 6 incident.

An all-conference offensive lineman on the Discovery Canyon football team, Spalding won 2014 state titles in shot put and discus.

"He is a great young man who has a great attitude as he tackles his rehabilitation," Discovery Canyon athletic director Sharon Lauer told The Gazette as Spalding worked to recover from a torn knee ligament before winning the titles.

As a freshman at the academy, Spalding won the discus at the New Mexico Quadrangular and was one of the school's top shot putters.

The charges against him were issued Dec. 17. The academy said the three counts of sexual assault and single charge of conduct unbecoming an officer stem from a single incident.

He's the third academy cadet who will appear in court on sexual assault allegations in the coming weeks.

Cadet Zach Chubb is set for a Feb. 8 court-martial on allegations that he fondled a classmate and forced her to touch his genitalia in 2014. Cadet Mark Czerner is scheduled for court-martial April 18 on allegations that he raped a female classmate on Valentine's Day.

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