An Annapolis alderwoman and the Anne Arundel chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People stepped forward yesterday in support of Lamar Owens Jr., the Navy midshipman recommended for expulsion after being acquitted of rape charges but convicted of two lesser counts.
Classie G. Hoyle introduced a non-binding resolution asking that the Naval Academy grant Owens his degree and commission. The alderwoman said she hopes that Navy Assistant Secretary William Navas will take it under consideration as he decides the fate of Owens, whose trial ended in July.
Hoyle's resolution is scheduled for a public hearing at the council's March 12 meeting.
"I have constituents who have asked me to help the city bring forth support for Owens," she said. "And I hope our City Council will go on record ... that we're concerned and supporting him. He is a young man who has shown leadership, academically and athletically."
Meanwhile, Wayne Jearld, president of the county's NAACP, sent a letter to Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski asking that the Maryland Democrat review the Owens situation. Jearld pointed to what he sees as a disparity in treatment of Owens and the alleged victim, a female midshipman, as a reason that Mikulski should review Rempt's decision. "
Vice Adm. Rodney P. Rempt, the academy superintendent, has recommended that Owens be expelled. He would not be required to repay the $130,000 cost of his education, but neither would he be granted a diploma or a commission.