Hearing expected this week for Mid accused of sexually assaulting four

April 09, 1996|By Tom Bowman | Tom Bowman,SUN STAFF

One of the Naval Academy's two regimental commanders, the third-ranking position among all midshipmen, sits in a Marine Corps jail today, awaiting a hearing on charges that he sexually ++ assaulted four female midshipmen.

Midshipman 1st Class Scott T. Ward of Grand Rapids, Mich., an economics major with dreams of joining the Navy's elite special operations force, was stripped of his command post Thursday ** and sent to the Marine brig in Quantico, Va., Navy and academy sources said.

The midshipman's father, Tom Ward, contacted last night in Sarasota, Fla., would say only that his son has both a military and a civilian attorney, declining to provide their names.

An unidentified midshipman who answered the phone yesterday Bancroft Hall, the massive stone dormitory that houses all midshipmen, said Midshipman Ward was "relieved of duties" because of the allegations.

Lt. Scott Allen, an academy spokesman, declined to confirm the identity of the midshipman yesterday. He said a hearing is expected to be held this week to determine whether the midshipman will stay in the brig or be returned to the academy to await an Article 32 hearing, the military's version of a grand jury.

The Article 32 hearing is expected to take several weeks and will determine whether a court martial is warranted.

Academy officials said the midshipman was sent to the brig after he contacted the alleged victims after they filed charges.

Three of the female midshipmen are seniors and a fourth is a sophomore.

The investigation began when one of the women came forward last week.

Pub Date: 4/09/96

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