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Officers Acquit Air Force Cadet of Rape Charge

June 03, 2005|From Associated Press

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — An Air Force Academy cadet was found not guilty Thursday of raping a fellow cadet during a scuba-diving-club trip to New Mexico in May 2004.

Senior cadet Benjamin Kuster had been accused of raping the woman, now an Air Force second lieutenant, after a night of heavy drinking in a motel.

The jury of officers did convict Kuster of committing an indecent act -- having consensual sex with his girlfriend in a room where other cadets slept -- during the same trip, defense attorney Richard Stevens said.

Stevens planned to return to court today to argue that the indecent-act charge should be thrown out.

Kuster could be sentenced to five years in confinement and dismissal from the Air Force.

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