20-year-old Midshipman 3rd Class Patrick Edmond, a student at the U.S. Naval Academy, was convicted of rape by a seven-member military panel and sentenced to six months in military prison. Edmond was also dismissed from the Navy.
As Childs Walker reports for the Baltimore Sun, this is the first court-martial involving a rape conviction at the U.S. Naval Academy since 2008. There were a number of “high-profile” sex assaults at the Academy throughout the 2000s.
William Marks, a spokesman for the Academy, said, “The military holds its service members to the highest standards of personal accountability. The military process is fair, impartial and deliberate – we support the findings of the jury,” as Walker reports.
Marks goes on to say: “The Navy has zero tolerance for sexual assault.”
Often, evidence of sex assault or rape is “insufficient” to support courts-martial.
A report goes out every year in December that details the number of sexual assaults at the U.S. Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point – according to the 2008 and 2009 reports, 56 percent of female cadets and midshipmen reported “some form of sexual harassment” in the year prior to the reports.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, “Former midshipman sentenced to six months in military prison for rape of classmate,” by Childs Walker, 09/30/11