AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (CBS4) — Three Air Force Academy Cadets have been charged in unrelated sexual assaults. Those assaults have happened over the past 15 months.
Academy vice superintendent Col. Tamra Rank said Thursday the cases are unrelated.
“The fact that the charges in all three cases are being preferred at this time is due to the near simultaneous completion of each individual investigation,” said Rank.
The cadets’ hearings are expected later this month or next month.
Stephen Claxton has four charges against him including two counts of abusive sexual contact, underage drinking and assault.
Kyle Cressy has two charges against him including aggravated sexual assault.
Robert Evenson has three charges against him including rape, aggravated sexual contact and engaging in an unprofessional relationship.
“We take these allegations seriously. Sexual misconduct is a particularly egregious offense and we have a zero tolerance policy in the Air Force,” said Rank.
Last week a report by the Department of Defense said the number of sexual assaults at military academies increased nearly 60 percent in the past academic year.
Col. Reni Renner from the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs said efforts by academies to encourage reporting of assaults could be the reason for the spike.
Sexual assaults at the nation’s three major military academies, Annapolis, West Point and the Air Force Academy, are on the rise. The three had a combined 41 cases from two years ago to 65 last year. There is no confirmation on whether the three recent cases were included in those totals.