Attempted kiss grounds midshipman Female midshipman rebuffed him

March 12, 1993|By JoAnna Daemmrich | JoAnna Daemmrich,Staff Writer

A senior at the Naval Academy has been grounded until graduation after he was found guilty of making unwanted sexual advances toward a female classmate, academy officials confirmed yesterday.

The male midshipman was accused of waking a sleeping female classmate early in the morning of Jan. 17 and attempting to kiss her. He left her room in the Bancroft Hall dormitory after she refused his advances.

The 21-year-old student, whom academy officials would not identify, has been restricted to Bancroft Hall except for military duty and classes for 60 days, said Cmdr. Mike John, an academy spokesman. He also lost his leave privileges and has been assigned extra duty as punishment, Commander John said.

The midshipman was charged administratively with indecent assault after an investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

The student was found guilty of a conduct violation last week by Capt. John B. Padgett III, the commandant of midshipmen.

"We take this sort of thing very seriously," Commander John said.

At the Naval Academy, midshipmen are forbidden from kissing or touching each other on the school grounds, although they are allowed to date.

The midshipmen in this incident apparently had not been dating, Commander John said.

Both students went out with different groups of friends in Annapolis the night of Jan. 16. Shortly after 1 a.m., the male went into the woman's room and woke her. He was wearing his uniform. She was in a nightgown, academy sources said.

They talked for about 45 minutes before he tried to hug and kiss her. At that point, she told him to leave the room, then complained to a superior.

Even though the woman was not injured, she was given a routine medical examination. She also was counseled by the commandant of midshipmen.

The incident came only a month after two female midshipmen were pummeled with pillows during the week before the Dec. 5 Army-Navy football game. Both women suffered bruises, and one received a scratched eye.

Four male midshipmen received demerits and lost leave time for the prank, known as a "Mack Truck" attack. The superintendent has since banned the popular prank, which was designed to make victims feel as if they had been hit head-on by a truck.

In March 1991, two midshipmen were expelled after exchanging a hug and a kiss on the cheek late at night in Bancroft Hall. Officials dismissed them for allegedly lying about the kiss, a breach of the honor code.

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