Navy football co-captain and senior quarterback Lamar Owens was charged with raping a female midshipman in late January in her dorm room at the U.S. Naval Academy, academy officials announced.
Owens, a 22-year-old senior from Savannah, Ga., allegedly attacked the female on the U.S. Naval Academy campus grounds, where all 4,000 midshipmen live, and is currently facing charges under the military code of justice.
The complaint is not being investigated by the County police, but by the Naval Criminal Investigation Service. Also, prosecution will be through the military justice system instead of the state courts.
Owens is involved in an Article 32 hearing, a process compared to a civilian grand jury inquiry.
The charges the Academy brought against Owens include rape, indecent assault and conduct unbecoming of an officer, according to a statement by academy officials.
Jonathan Mitchell, a sophomore student from Ohio State University feels the situation is upsetting. “This is a big problem, not only are the females who attend these institutions in danger, but the problem is not a priority to the people in charge. I doubt if anything changes about the policies concerning female sexual misconduct complaints toward their male peers.”
The alleged victim testified the assault occurred after she had been out drinking at an Annapolis bar with friends. She said she was examined for rape on Jan. 31 and reported the attack to criminal investigators on Feb. 6.
According to Associated Press, Recent reports state that the victim said that she called Lamar Owens on the phone and an investigator listened as he told her he felt distraught about what he had done and considered killing himself.
Several U.S service academies have been under scrutiny after numerous charges of rape and sexual misconduct have arose in recent years. A Pentagon task force found that the atmospheres at the Naval Academy, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado discouraged women from reporting such crimes.
Trisha Jamison, Kentucky State University senior, feels the treatment of women in these service academies is awful. “This is not the first time a female has come forward with stories of rape, it makes people feel these institution have no respect for female in attendance, I would be [afraid] to be in an environment with that reputation.” Jamison said.
Owens has proven his football talent by assisting the team in a win in the Poinsettia Bowl over Colorado State, beating Army all four seasons, and winning a Navy football team prize; 2005’s E.E. "Rip" Miller Award, which is presented to the season’s most valuable player as voted by his teammates.