Appeals court overturns Naval Academy midshipman’s sex assault conviction

This is just a mess from beginning to end.

I agree with the appeals court in overturning the conviction. I don’t see sufficient proof of sexual assault to rise to a beyond a reasonable doubt standard. And hopefully the United States Court for Appeals for the Armed Forces will decline to review this decision and thus end this criminal case for good.

But beyond the simple facts of the case, this incident reflects extremely poorly on the Naval Academy. Second year cadets out drinking to the point of intoxication, to the point where they are unfit to consent to sex. They shouldn’t be drinking at all. This is a ******* MILITARY ACADEMY, not a frat house at a State University.

No wonder the Navy is in such a deplorable shape if this is the standard they hold Midshipmen to.

The Navy needs to vastly tighten standards at the Naval Academy, including a ban on alcohol consumption from recruit reporting day up until the moment they throw their hats in the air.

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Totally banning alcohol consumption would be a pretty tall order. They should make the penalty for drinking underage pretty severe, though.

The Academies would be unable to stop all drinking. But I think random breathalyzer tests upon a Cadet/Midshipman’s return to campus would help. If they blow over a certain percentage, they are dismissed. If they test below that percentage, but above another, they receive demerits and if they chronically show positive for small percentages of alcohol, they are dismissed.

Now, of course, the Academies would be unable to do anything about drinking that occurs while Cadets/Midshipmen are away long term, such as the Christmas holiday’s. But they could help to curtail such incidents as described in the OP.

Sadly, the same thing happens at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. The cadets go off campus on weekends to get drunk. They have to pay damage deposits upfront at several hotels now, because in the past they’d quite often trash rooms over the course of the weekend.

Here is the policy on drug testing before admittance into the U S Navy. Not all drug tests include screening for ethyl alcohol.

I remember when my former boyfriend served, sailors underwent random drug testing as the Navy didn’t want seamen selling U S secrets for drugs, but former b f had problems with booze, so I’m not sure if those random drug tests included ethyl alcohol, either.

But I agree. It is preparation to serve the U S Armed Forces, and maybe standards have sunk if cadets are so intoxicated they can’t give or deny consent for sex. Not sure what the solution is, though.