Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Lamar Owens: Say It Ain't So

As many of you know, Navy Quarterback Lamar Owens has been charged with Rape. A full artile can be found Here.

For additional Coverage I'd suggest checking out EDSBS, where I will be chiming in, and the forum.

In addition, an email has been sent out regarding the situation to the USNA Alumni Association Board of Trustees, USNA Foundation Board of Directors, A&SP Executive Committee, Class and Chapter Presidents, and Parents' Club Presidents. The text is as follows:

Lawrence Heyworth IIIVice President, CommunicationsU. S. Naval Academy Alumni
AssociationDear Alumni and Parents, The mission of the Naval Academy focuses
developing midshipmen morally, mentally and physically to become officers
of the
highest character to lead our Sailors and Marines in combat. In
everything we do
we endeavor to develop a professional culture at the
Academy that fosters
dignity and respect, while also encouraging personal
responsibility and
accountability. The policy is very clear: The Navy does
not tolerate sexual
harassment, misconduct or assault; these issues are
taken seriously, all
allegations are thoroughly investigated, people are
held accountable for their
actions and due process is ensured. Accused are
always presumed innocent until
proven otherwise. We anticipate news media
will soon report that the Academy has
charged a First Class Midshipman with
several violations of the Uniform Code of
Military Justice, ranging from
rape to conduct unbecoming an officer. The
charges are based upon a
preliminary investigation conducted by the Academy and
the Naval Criminal
Investigative Service. Please remember that currently these
charges are
accusations only. The accused midshipman is presumed innocent until
guilty. The Academy has assigned the sexual assault victim a personal
advocate and is doing everything possible to protect the victim, as well as
offer support and counseling. We have also taken steps to prevent contact
between the accused and victim to protect both parties. The victim's name
personal information are being withheld to protect her privacy. Upon
learning of
the allegations from the victim, the Naval Academy and the Naval
Investigative Service conducted an immediate investigation. The
results of that
investigation were provided to the Superintendent, who then
made the decision to
formally charge the accused and to refer the matter for
further investigation
under Article 32 of the UCMJ.The Academy has referred
the matter to an Article
32 hearing. The pretrial investigation will be
conducted by a military officer.
The Superintendent will use the information
obtained in this hearing, and the
recommendation of the investigating
officer, to make a decision regarding the
disposition of allegations made in
this case. Our policy is clear: we do not
tolerate sexual harassment or
assault; these actions have no place in the Navy
and Marine Corps. Anytime
an alleged event like this occurs, it is detrimental
to the Brigade, the
entire Academy family, and is contrary to all we are hoping
to achieve. The
Midshipman charged in this case is Midshipman First Class Lamar
S. Owens,
last season's Football Team Captain and Quarterback. The accused
remains assigned to the Naval Academy and will continue attending
class and
performing other duties assigned midshipmen pending the outcome of
investigation. The Naval Academy has taken the unusual step in releasing
name of the accused midshipman, given the circumstances of the case, as well
as the public prominence of the accused and his leadership position in the
Brigade. Our decision to release personal information is always balanced
maintaining the privacy of the victim and protecting the rights of the
In this case we wanted to be as upfront as possible in providing
especially realizing the name of the accused would become
generally known. Our
goal is to preclude innuendo and rumor, provide for
accurate reporting and
prevent re-victimization.Last Friday night, we
celebrated a great football
season at our annual football banquet. Actually,
our third great winning season:
4-0 versus Army, 3-0 versus Air Force, three
Commander-in-Chief trophies, three
bowl games (including a 51-30 win over
Colorado State last December in the San
Diego). By any measure, the Navy
football program has performed beyond
expectations on the athletic field.
Members of the football team, as well as the
coaching staff, however would
be the first to tell you that sexual harassment
and sexual assault are
unacceptable and do not reflect the high standards,
performance and
expectations of the team, the Brigade of Midshipmen or the
Standards are clear: Conduct, character and honor are more important
football. We need your help to avoid rumors or speculation. Respect the
privacy of those involved. And keep in perspective that while this latest
incident may receive widespread media attention, the vast majority of
meet our exacting standards of character and conduct. The
American people expect
the very best of all our midshipmen. We continually
strive to meet those
expectations. As future leaders of Sailors and Marines,
we hold our midshipmen
to the highest of standards. As prospective Navy or
Marine Corps officers,
midshipmen must set the example and must not conduct
themselves in such a way
that indicates questionable personal morals, or is
not consistent with the
Navy's core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment.
These high standards apply
equally to each and every midshipman in the
Brigade. Contact our Public Affairs
Office at 410-293-2292, or
should you have any
questions.Respectfully,CAPT Helen DunnChief of Staff

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