Court martial recommended for 1 AF Academy cadet
March 3, 2012
DENVER (AP) — An Air Force Academy commander recommended a court martial for one cadet charged with sexual misconduct and dismissed charges against another, the school said Friday.
Brig. Gen. Richard Clark recommended that Stephan H. Claxton face a court martial on charges of attempted abusive sexual contact, wrongful sexual contact, assault and underage drinking.
Clark is the academy’s commandant of cadets.
The decision on whether to convene a court martial will be made by the academy’s superintendent, Lt. Gen. Michael Gould.
It wasn’t immediately clear when Gould might decide.
Clark dropped all charges against Kyle A. Cressy. He faced two charges accusing him of sexual contact with a female cadet who was substantially incapacitated.
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A written release from the academy didn’t elaborate on Clark’s reasons.
Clark’s decisions came after separate hearings to assess the evidence.
At Claxton’s hearing, cadets testified they found him in a room with an incapacitated, partially undressed woman.
At Cressy’s hearing, a woman testified she awoke after a night of partying to find a man having sex with her. She said she didn’t say “no,” kissed him and passed out again.
A hearing is still under way for a third cadet, Robert M. Evenson Jr., who also faces sexual misconduct charges.
Claxton, Cressy and Claxton’s military attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment through an academy spokesman.
Cressy’s civilian attorney didn’t immediately return a telephone message.
The three cases are not related. The academy has said all three investigations concluded at about the same time.
The academy put numerous programs in place to prevent sexual abuse and encourage cadets to report incidents after a sexual assault scandal shook the school in 2003.
The number of assaults reported at the academy varies widely from year to year. In the 2010-11 school year, 33 were reported, up from 20 the previous year.
Academy officials and outside experts say it’s impossible to determine whether the increase reflected more assaults or more students reporting assaults.