Three Navy football players under investigation for sexual assault

Three Navy football players under investigation for sexual assault

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]hree Navy football players are under investigation for allegedly sexually assaulting a female midshipman.

Navy players celebrate after a touchdown in the Midshipmen's 11th straight victory over Army last December.

Navy players celebrate after a touchdown in the Midshipmen’s 11th straight victory over Army last December.

According to a Military.com report, Academy officials confirmed the investigation Thursday.

The names of the players under investigation were not released, and Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo could not comment on the investigation because it is ongoing.

“Naval Academy leadership is monitoring the progress of this investigation and evaluating the appropriate options for adjudication,” said Cmdr. John Schofield, the Naval Academy spokesman told Military.com. “It is completely inappropriate to make any other public comment on this investigation or any ongoing investigation as we risk compromising the military justice process.”

Almost no details of the investigation are known, and Naval officials could say when they expected it to be completed.

Ironically, the news comes just a week after President Barack Obama spoke at the Naval Academy graduation where he challenged the newly commissioned officers to combat the growing problem of sexual assault in the service academies and the military at large.

Military.com cites a recent Defense Department survey that said sexual assault incidents in the ranks increased by nearly 37 percent over the past three years. According to the survey, there were 26,000 reported incidents in 2012, up from 19,000 in 2010. Reports of incidents increased at all three all three academies.

In 2006, former Navy quarterback Lamar Owens was acquitted of raping a fellow former midshipman, but was convicted by a court martial panel of conduct unbecoming of an officer and violating a direct order.

Initially given no punishment, Owens was later expelled from the Academy in the wake of the controversy.

Photo credit: Matt Slocum / AP

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