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Report: Annapolis routinely dismisses rape cases

first_imgANNAPOLIS, Md. – Sexual assault charges against students at the Naval Academy are routinely dismissed without trial, an analysis of Navy documents found. The review of 56 midshipmen accused of sexual assault since 1998 found only two were convicted, one in a civilian court, according to the review by The Washington Post of Navy incident reports, case summaries and data released by the school. In virtually every other case, deals were struck forcing the alleged offender to leave the academy without facing trial and without a criminal record. Reports of sexual assault have been increasing at the academy, in part because of an effort to encourage victims to report incidents, but advocates say increased reporting is only part of the solution. Jamin B. Raskin, a law professor at American University with extensive experience in civil rights and sexual discrimination, said the findings were “profoundly troubling.” “A sexual assault should not be treated like a case of plagiarism,” Raskin said. “This is not just an offense against academic rules; it’s a crime. … The ethos of the institution should not be you take whatever you can get and if you get caught, then you leave.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88 “It’s not about how many reports you’re receiving, it’s about how much justice you’re providing to victims of crime,” said Anita Sanchez, spokeswoman for the Miles Foundation, an advocacy group for victims of violence associated with the military. In August, a Pentagon task force that looked into sexual assault and harassment at the Naval Academy and at West Point found five courts-martial were convened at the Army school, with three convictions for sex-related crimes over a 10-year period, while the Naval Academy had one court-martial and conviction during that time. The academy’s superintendent, Vice Adm. Rodney P. Rempt, issued a statement Friday saying he has “made it clear to all our staff and midshipmen that the Navy does not tolerate sexual harassment and sexual assault.” However, sexual assault cases are often hard to prove because of insufficient evidence, said Mike Brady, an academy spokesman. The latest case involves Midshipman Lamar S. Owens Jr., the starting quarterback of the academy football team, who was accused in February of raping a female midshipman in her dorm room. A hearing was postponed last week so prosecutors can consider additional charges. last_img read more