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Cadet to Face Rape Court-Martial

October 11, 2003|From Associated Press

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — An Air Force Academy cadet charged with rape was denied his request to resign and must face a court-martial, academy officials said Friday.

Douglas L. Meester had asked Air Force Secretary James Roche to allow him to resign rather than face a court-martial. He could receive up to life in prison and be dismissed from the Air Force if he is found guilty.

No date for the court-martial has been set.

An 18-year-old freshman cadet alleges that Meester raped her after she passed out in his dorm room in October 2002. Both had been drinking tequila.

Defense attorneys say the woman never told Meester to stop and did not resist.

Meester is the first cadet to face a military trial on rape charges since a sex assault scandal at the school broke earlier this year.

At least 142 sexual assaults have been reported at the academy in the last decade. New commanders have implemented sweeping changes at the school, from setting new alcohol policies to adding dormitory patrols.

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