Very Sad...more assaults

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by BobBigBoy, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. BobBigBoy

    BobBigBoy Member

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  2. LFry94

    LFry94 USAFA C1C '17

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    "Col. Reni Renner from the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs said efforts by academies to encourage reporting of assaults could be the reason for the spike."

    There could be an actual rise in the number of sexual assaults, or it could be the same number but more of them are being reported due to the academy's efforts to encourage more reporting. We can only speculate.

    In my honest opinion, a service academy would still be safer than a public or even a private college or university.
     
  3. mdanderson

    mdanderson Member

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    As a student affairs rep at a large public university, I can assure you that this is unfortunately not in any way unique to service academies. Accusations of sexual assault occur on every campus, in every location, irregardless of the environment or culture. These types of cases are very difficult to prosecute. There is almost always alcohol involved, and that complicates things. While it is NEVER an assault victims fault, everyone must be cognizant of the things that may impact their personal safety.
    The "new" USAFA cases span a three year period. What is unique is that USAFA has proactively investigated and reporting these alleged assaults. This is a GOOD and encouraging sign, and a reflection of service academy efforts to change culture. Again, this is an epidemic problem, and there is a huge continuum when it comes to institutional response. USAFA has done an admirable job in this instance.
     
  4. rkrosnar

    rkrosnar Member

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    Very Sad....

    mdanderson hit the nail on the head here. This is nothing new, but it is the academy. Which should be held to the highest standards. While the situation is very different, just look at Penn State.

    RGK
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree with what others have stated, if you look at the size of the AFA, and the make up of cadets (men to women) statistically the odds are not high that she would be attacked. Do not get me wrong, even 1 attack is wrong, but if 25% of the cadet strength are women, and this occurred over a 3 yr period where the strength was hitting @4500, it would equate to 3 women out of @1125 or a 1 in 400 chance that it would happen to your DD. IMPO those are pretty good odds it would never occur to her and give no reason to be watching over her back. It is not even a 1% chance.

    No higher learning institution is going to have 0% for sexual assaults, it is unrealistic to believe that, so if you still do have this fear, it would probably be wise to review all of the colleges she applied to and decide where she should go based on safety.

    Our DD attends VT, and when we sent her there people asked if I was in fear for her safety due to the VT massacre. My answer was no, because of that massacre VT became more viligent in their safety practices. Even when the shooting happened last month, the students were notified in minutes and locked down. The attacker that killed the police officer was not a VT student, they were from Radford (10 miles down the road) and the working theory was he wanted to do suicide by cop. He knew that VT had a stronger system in place and that would make it easier to be killed than at RU.

    The same will now happen at the AFA, they will come back and place stronger policies to reduce the chance of this occurring again. Like I said there will never be 0%, but I would think when you look at it from a statistical perspective you should feel very comfortable in sending your child there.

    Remember in 4 yrs she will go into the AD world, and if you believe that the AFA isn't safe, you will not believe the bases she will be stationed at are safe, because believe it or not, women in the AD world do get raped. Again, at a much lower rate than the national average, but it happens. There is no way you can find anywhere in the world that this heinous assault against women doesn't exist.

    That is just reality, and reality is all you can do is protect yourself to minimize the risks of being assaulted.
     
  6. JMC0759

    JMC0759 S-USMMA '12 D-USAFA '15

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    These charges would be considered a felony in the civilian world. What are the consequences for the cadets being accused? Besides disenrollment, could they see jail time?
     
  7. mdanderson

    mdanderson Member

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    These cadets are subject to an article 32 hearing,and if found guilty
    of these charges (extremely serious ones) will be prosecuted via court martial- which actually holds potentially greater consequences than civilian court. Again I stress, the programs and safety nets ARE in place--that is why these assaults are being reported, investigated, and prosecuted. Awareness and education are the keys to prevention.
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Many yrs ago Bullet went to Ft Leavenworth as an O4 for PME (In residence school for O4s for a yr). They took the AF officers over to give them a tour of the prison which Leavenworth is famous for of course.

    During the tour they talked about the highest number of inmates there were there for either drug convictions or sex crimes. Some of them were ex-cadets from the AFA.

    mdanderson is correct, if convicted they may go to prison and that will be the prison in KS where they will spend yrs making lovely wrought iron objects...gone are the days of making little rocks from big rocks.:shake:
     
  9. falconfamily

    falconfamily Member

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    The National Institute of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics did a study that indicated that the national statistic for sexual assaults on college campuses is about 28 victims per 1000 female students per year. Some advocacy groups state as many as one in four. Point is that most colleges do not air their dirty laundry (see Penn State), so all you see in the news is the 3 incidents over three years at USAFA and think the place is like a wild west bordello. The fact is that the rate of such incidents is a small fraction of the national average (1/84 [3 incidents over 3 years versus 28 incidents per year]) While I think that any such incidents at our service academies, which are so selective about their cadets/midshipmen, is disappointing, context is very important here.


    https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/182369.pdf
     
  10. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    In the military, these are felonies.

    Using the charges for Cadet Evenson. Should he be found guilty, these are the maximum punishments according by the Manual for Courts Martial (version that I could peruse):
    ***************************************************
    Article 92 FAILURE TO OBEY ORDER OR REGULATION

    (1) Violation or failure to obey lawful general order or regulation. Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 2 years.

    (2) Violation of failure to obey other lawful order. Bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 6 months.

    Note: For (1) and (2), above, the punishment set forth does not apply in the following cases: if in the absence of the order or regulation which was violated or not obeyed the accused would on the same facts be subject to conviction for another specific offense for which a lesser punishment is prescribed; or if the violation or failure to obey is a breach of restraint imposed as a result of an order. In these instances, the maximum punishment is that specifically prescribed else wherefor that particular offense.

    (3) Dereliction in the performance of duties.

    (A) Through neglect or culpable inefficiency. Forfeiture of two-thirds pay per month for 3 months and confinement for 3 months.

    (B) Willful. Bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 6 months.

    Article 120 RAPE AND CARNAL KNOWLEDGE

    (1) Rape. Death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct.

    (2) Carnal knowledge with a child who, at the time of the offense, has attained the age of 12 years. Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 20 years.

    (3) Carnal knowledge with a child under the age of 12 years at the time of the offense. Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for life without eligibility for parole.

    Article 133 CONDUCT UNBECOMING AND OFFICER AND GENTLEMAN

    Dismissal, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for a period not in excess of that authorized for the most analogous (similar) offense for which a punishment is prescribed in this Manual, or, if none is prescribed, for 1 year.
    *******************************************************

    I don't know when everything will be complete; probably a year from now, but if any/all of these cadets are found guilty, the "punishment" will be IMHO, far more than they would get in the civilian world as the military is rather harsh in their treatment of malefactors (and I'm okay with that). Also, when you see the term "dishonorable discharge" above...officers/cadets are not given "DD's" as they're called; they are "dismissed." The end result/impact legally is the same: a dismissal is a federal felony conviction carrying the same "nasty results" that a DD carries.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  11. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    The number is not 3, but 33 in a year (2010-11), which would exceed your national average of 28.

    The 3 in the article are just the latest to be prosecuted.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162...cadets-face-sexual-assault-charges/?tag=stack
     
  12. mdanderson

    mdanderson Member

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    You bet!! Be wary of press reports that speak about the uptick in these cases on any campus. It is usually the result of an improvement in the reporting process and not a raw increase in the number of assaults.
     
  13. mdanderson

    mdanderson Member

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    Again--those are reported cases. The national average is determined by looking at those cases investigated at the university level. Like anything else. garbage in, garbage out. Schools who do not aggressively report allegations also fall into those stats. This skews the statistics. I know I am repeating myself, but those who have programs in place, follow up on allegations and REPORT will always have a greater number of documented assaults than those who do not. I am not a frequent poster, but I this is my area of expertise so I feel strongly about this. My institution's stats fall higher than "the national average" as well--because we report EVERY allegation--the goal is to see a reduction in violence once an organization has an accurate baseline. USAFA has and hopefully will continue to report as accurately as possible. If we slam institutions for their statistics, a culture of silence and cover-up will continue to be encouraged.
     
  14. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Not "slamming" anything, just correcting a misstatement that there were "only 3 in 3 years."
     
  15. BobBigBoy

    BobBigBoy Member

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    In looking at the actual reports, it appears that one of the alleged crimes occurred between two cadets that had/have a relationship. The other two list the female victims as "substantially incapacitated" which I assume is drunk. Isn't there a bar at the Academy? Could this have been a result of the cadets getting drunk at the Academy and then committing the crime? Not sure of past crimes but did they also include substantially incapacitated cadets?
    Also, in reading the previous posts, there are calls to put this in context and this is probably better than a regular college. I am a little surprised that we should categorize these crimes as normal or within range of statistics. One of the reasons my DD selected the USAFA was because of the character of the people there. With the education and punitive measures in place for offenders I don't think we should dismiss the reported increases as better awareness and reporting of crimes. From what I can gather this is an organic problem at all of the academies and is growing for what ever reason...what can be done to make this stop?
     
  16. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    All of the SAs focus on alcohol abuse b/c overindulgence in alcohol often leads to other bad things, such as sexual assault.

    Last year at USNA, two guys got drunk on service selection night and broke into a local home. One was kicked out of USNA and the other was punished. And, unfortunately, almost every year, at least one SA member is killed in a drinking and driving incident.

    My gut feel from having been a female at a SA (when the drinking age was 18) is that the overwhelming majority of sexual assault cases involve excessive use of alcohol by one or both parties. In my day, drinking at least was legal; now it's not for most of the more junior cadets and mids. However, I recall situations when drunk guys wandered into rooms of sleeping females and . . . no good came of it. (Help was summoned, drunk guy got in trouble, etc.)

    A female getting drunk doesn't in any way make her less a victim -- it does make her more likely to be a victim.

    The best advice you can give any cadet, male or female, is: (1) don't drink alcohol at parties or similar events if they are not of legal age, and (2) if they are of age to drink, limit the amount they consume.
     
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    From Luigi's link, what created confusion for me was the last line.

    What exactly means occurred prior to military service? If they did occur prior to attending the AFA, why would that be accounted in the 33 assaults? Obviously, it wasn't an AFA cadet that did it because it was prior.

    If it means that were done at the AFA and they are now on AD, than why separate them out of the 33, it happened on the AFA grounds, and should be IMPO still in the amount that occurred at the AFA regardless where they are stationed now.

    Before we also jump to this theory of OMG rape is everywhere, let's remember everyone in this country is presumed innocent. Reporting a sexual assault and being convicted are two different things, with legal level of stds that must be met. Unfortunately, for women that usually is a high bar.

    The fact is these allegations if played out in the media like the Duke rape case yrs ago can have life altering effects on those accused of the crimes. This maybe why you see only 3 charged currently.

    Also in the link Luigi provided, it illustrated, that one of the cadets is now an AF AD officer, because they are on casual status.

    Here is what I found more disturbing
    It is disturbing as a woman because it hurts their case.

    Claxton and Cressy both were charged with sexual contract with a female that was "substantially incapacitated". This is where it can become the he said she said, unless she immediately went to the authorities and had a rape kit done, which would include blood tests, and toxicology reports to show if that incapacitation was due to Roofies, or alcohol.

    No MEANS no, regardless of their ability to think due to alcohol. End of subject, period, dot!

    As usna1985 stated when alcohol is involved the outcome can be negative.

    Evanson's case is more unique since it appears he blackmailed the female cadet because she had an honor code case. Had she not had that issue the case would not exist.

    Before anyone flames me, what I am stating is he is still wrong, but her cognizant actions allowed him this opportunity. I hope to God the reason he was caught was because she reported him the minute he offered her this way out. In the real world we would call that not rape, but sexual harassment. Yet, the way it reads is she did have sex with him, and that is why they classified it as rape.
     
  18. mdanderson

    mdanderson Member

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    Not an academy problem, a societal problem. It is not normal, but unfortunately we have to recognize that it has always been there and it is not going away. That being said, all universities are required to have programming in place--though few make it mandatory. The academies, however, do and they are evidence-based, robust programs. There are always those who will function outside of societal norms--and some of them may even attend our military academies--we will never be able to make "them" stop, as we cannot control truly deviant behavior. We can however, help our kids to recognize from a very young age those things which make them vulnerable (unsafe situations, alcohol, drugs, immaturity,peer pressure etc.) We can promote and demand a culture of respect in our schools and our homes by example and education, and we can develop systems for honest and accurate reporting which in turn will lead to more prosecutions and vigorous
    consequences.
     
  19. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    But does "yes" also mean "no"?

    Alcohol intoxication may produce a "yes" last night but after a night of sleep, remorse, regret, embarrassment, etc - it suddenly changes into a "no."

    Yes, I understand that consent cannot be legally given while intoxicated (at least I don't think so) but when you mix intoxicated 19 year old men, who may be propositioned or encouraged by intoxicated 19 year old women - -I'm not saying what they did was right, but I can certainly understand how the situation can escalate.
     
  20. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Luigi, I am not disagreeing with you, I once long ago was that 19 yo girl, but I have to say my mother instilled in me never to get into those situations. She drilled in my mind, that you go together as a group of girls, and you leave as a group of girls. If you think that 1 is drunk, you collect her and leave before she can wake up the next morning with regret.

    That to me is one of the problems. We blame the male counterpart when they are just as drunk as the female. We as women, don't do enough to protect each other when placed in a predicament.

    I am proud of the fact that my friends when I was 18-20, legal drinking age was 21, watched out for each other, and when one of us saw another passing a line they would regret in the morning we dragged their butts out.

    Bullet and I instilled in our DD the same philosophy. When you go to a party, you go as a group, when you leave the party, you leave with the same group. No deviation from that plan. DD and her friends have taken that up a notch. They use the designated driver program, and have agreed that if the DD in the group says NO, you are drunk, there is no argument, the DD has the ball and can call it. No arguments.

    Our daughter gave me the highest compliment because she said that I told her one thing before she left for college that stuck with her.

    "If he loves you so much tonight and wants to have sex with you, he will love you more tomorrow too...if he doesn't love you tomorrow, than he didn't love yesterday and you will not regret not having sex with him, but you will regret if you do have sex with him"

    I hate when people bring up the No may have meant Yes argument, but unfortunately there is that issue. Even in this case the "incapacitated" issue will be played in from a defense POV, UNLESS she reported the assault immediately and had a tox screen done, which still may not help the prosecution. The emotional scar of rape will last, and longer if there is no conviction. Being afraid because you were drunk will only hurt you psychologically if you believe you were raped, but were afraid to report or talked out it for that one reason. There will always be that doubt, that question, that inability to trust.

    Before you send any DD to any college, be smart. The fact is they know about protected sex and pregnancies from HS health. They don't know as girls that RAPE is a crime which occurs because too many victims are afraid they brought it on themselves.

    Teach your girls, that traveling in packs like NUNS is a good thing. Tell them that you as a parent, will understand if they got drunk, but if this occurred when they were drunk, still immediately go to the hospital because medical examinations will be needed for conviction, plus for their own health...STDs, and unwanted pregnancy,

    Don't worry about what others will think.

    Pound into your DS's that the girl you are attracted to is someone's sister, and to remember how you will emotionally feel if they did it to your sister. The whole AF and officer thing is BS, it is not emotional. The this act can be your sister, your cousin or even your ex-gf is personal and something they can relate to emotionally.

    In a way it is about how you send your kid off to college or the AFA.

    The AFA is a great place, and the actions of some stupid cadets does not equate to it being a place that condones rape.

    Long ago before many of you were here, but there was a poster who had a 5'0 100 lb DD at the AFA. If fear of rape in your mind exists, she would have been the prime female candidate to get raped. That didn't happen. Instead because the winds are so bad at the AFA, she had male cadets hold onto her as she crossed the campus...actually required! She had brothers who protected her.

    IMPO, Claxton, Cressy and Evanston should be watching their backs today because I bet there are alot of male cadets ready to pummel them if given the opportunity.

    Not because they sullied the AFA name, or the male cadets, but because these girls are their family and they hurt them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012

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