3 Air Force Academy cadets face sex assault charges

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Three Air Force Academy cadets face charges of sexual assault in separate cases over the past 15 months, commanders announced Thursday.

One male cadet from the Class of 2011 faces charges of rape, aggravated sexual assault, indecent acts and engaging in an unprofessional relationship.

Another male cadet from the Class of 2012 is charged with aggravated sexual assault, and a third male cadet from the Class of 2013 faces four charges, including abusive sexual contact and assault.

No other details were immediately available.

“The alleged misconduct in each of the three cases is unrelated, it occurred at different times over the last fifteen months, and Academy officials received victims’ reports at various times,” said Col. Tamra Rank, the Academy’s vice superintendent. “The fact that the charges in all three cases are being preferred at this time is due to the near simultaneous completion of each individual investigation.”

The charges come a week after the U.S. Department of Defense reported a spike in the number of sexual assaults at military schools, including the Air Force Academy.

Under military law, rape carries the same punishment as murder and could include the possibility of a death sentence.

“We expect the best from our cadets, and do not tolerate unacceptable behaviors,” Rank said.

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