Tuesday, September 25, 2012

UPDATE: Academy cadets charged with sex crimes

Posted By on Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 3:53 PM

UPDATE:
The Air Force Academy today released the names of the cadets under investigation for sex crimes. They are Cadet 2nd Class Jamil D. Cooks (attempted sodomy, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated sexual contact), and Cadet 2nd Class Anthony D. Daniels, Jr. (attempted sodomy, aggravated sexual contact, sodomy).

The academy released this explanation for why the cadets weren't named before and why they are being named now:

On Tuesday, Sept 18, 2012, charges of sexual misconduct were preferred
against two U. S. Air Force Academy cadets. This was announced to the media
in an Academy release (attached), but the names of the two cadets were
withheld pending a disposition decision by the Air Force Academy Commandant
of Cadets. On Monday, Sept. 24, 2012, the Commandant decided that these
cases should be investigated by an independent officer under Article 32 of
the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). The Article 32 hearings
ordered by the Commandant are similar to a civilian grand jury hearing
except that Article 32 hearings are open to the public. Based on that
disposition decision, the Commandant reconsidered the media's request for
release of the cadet names and, based on the "balancing test' required by
the Freedom of Information Act and in accordance with Air Force Instruction
50-201, he determined that the public interest in disclosure of the
requested information outweighs the privacy interest in nondisclosure.


—————————ORIGINAL POST WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 4:09 P.M.——————————-

Two Air Force Academy cadets, both in their junior year, have been charged with sexual misconduct in connection with alleged incidents dating to 2009 when at least one was attending the academy's Preparatory School.

The names of the accused aren't being released, and here's the academy's explanation. Since April, most recent instruction has been:

Pursuant to AFI 51-201, AFGM 2, 5 April 2012, paragraph 13.6, the Air Force does not generally release the names of individuals who have been accused of crimes until after a decision by the convening authority to either direct an Article 32 investigation or refer the case to trial; and then only after
having done the required FOIA privacy balancing test. In these cases, the convening authority has not yet made any determinations on the appropriate disposition and therefore, it would be premature to release any identifying information about the cadets. We expect the convening authority to make a decision on the appropriate disposition for these cases within the next week."

But as we told another reporter with the same question, the real story is that the Academy Continues to pursue unacceptable behavior and punish those who commit crimes.

One cadet is accused of attempting to commit sodomy against an academy cadet candidate at the prep school in August or September 2009. The same cadet also is charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice article dealing with rape and carnal knowledge for allegedly fondling a cadet in November 2011 in which he used "restraint ... sufficient that she could not avoid or escape the sexual conduct," according to the charge sheet. A third charge alleges the cadet committed sodomy "by force" in November 2011.

The other cadet faces two charges, both of which arose from alleged incidents in May 2011. The cadet is accused of attempting to commit sodomy. He's also accused of the article dealing with rape and carnal knowledge by engaging in sexual acts "by threatening or placing her in fear that she would be subjected to bodily harm," the charge sheet says.

The academy said in a news release:

At this time, charges are merely accusations. The accused in each case is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Counsel for the government and defense are working on the dates and times for an Article 32 hearing for each case, which will most likely be October or November. An Article 32 hearing is the military equivalent to a civilian grand jury proceeding. An investigating officer presides over an Article 32 hearing and submits his or her report of the proceedings with recommendations to the Cadet Wing Commandant as Special Court-Martial Convening Authority. The Commandant will then decide whether to dismiss the case, recommend it go to a General Court-Martial, or dispose of the case through some other disciplinary or administrative action.

The academy hasn't explained why the investigation took so long, or whether the 2009 alleged incident might have arisen more recently after the subsequent allegation in 2011 came to light. If the allegation was reported in 2009 while the accused was at the prep school, it's curious why the academy would promote the cadet to the academy with a sex crime investigation pending.

The prep school has been used in large part to indoctrinate athletes into the academy system.

The academy became aggressive in explaining to cadets how to report sexual assault after a scandal arose in 2003 in which female cadets described an environment of hostility toward women that tolerated sexual misbehavior and crimes.

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