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Air Force Academy cadets accused of sexual assault

A cadet at the Air Force Academy in Colorado had been charged with what is called aggravated sexual assault. The cadet's attorney has already released a statement that her client is innocent of what has been charged.

The newspapers are quick to note that six male cadets have been charged with sexual assault in recent months, and this has so far resulted in one conviction. What the headlines do not tell us is that only two of these matters have been resolved, and one of the cadets that were accused of sexual assault had his charges dropped.

While two other cadets are awaiting trial and one other is facing possible court martial, we have to wait and see as to what is actually decided at these matters before we can even have an idea as to what actually occurred. Even then we will not likely know how the circumstances of these arrests came about, but we do need to remember that being charged is not the same as being found guilty.

Newspapers generally only report what is found in the police reports, and these news sources seldom do more investigation than that. Yet what is found in the police reports only concern accusations that have been made rather than a definitive decision as to what has occurred.

Criminal defense attorneys are there to make certain individuals are not convicted upon innuendo. A conviction for sexual assault can mean years of prison time and result in individuals being shunned from the community. For a conviction to occur, we need more than accusations.

Regarding the possible court martial, a hearing has not even been set and there may never be a hearing. We cannot afford to rush to judgment regarding these matters.

Source: Fox 21 News, "Air Force Academy cadet charged with sexual assault," Jan. 31, 2013

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