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Academy Investigates Cadet

May 02, 2003|From Associated Press

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — The Air Force Academy said Thursday that it is investigating to determine whether a cadet organized group sex sessions through the Internet.

Brig. Gen. Johnny Weida, the commandant in charge of cadets, declined to name the cadet or detail possible charges.

"I am confident in our team," Weida said at a hastily called news conference a few hours before a speech by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "We will deal with that one cadet or maybe two and get it over with."

The senior cadet is accused of organizing a Web site that promoted group sex, sending e-mails to hundreds of people, and organizing and participating in sex sessions involving as many as two dozen men and one woman in nearby Colorado Springs and Denver, Weida said.

The investigation was first reported by KMGH-TV of Denver.

Academy police seized the cadet's computer Wednesday. Officials would not say whether the e-mails were sent from the academy, insisting their Internet system blocks pornography and gambling. Weida said the Web site had been taken down.

Weida said he expects the investigation to be completed before May 28, when the cadet is scheduled to graduate.

The school near Colorado Springs has been under scrutiny since dozens of female cadets said they were reprimanded or ostracized when they reported being raped. Weida took over three weeks ago after the academy's top officers were reassigned.

Three military investigations are under way and a civilian panel ordered by Congress will begin meeting later this month.

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