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Alcohol Cited In Dropping Sex Charge At AFA

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(credit: ThinkStock)

(credit: ThinkStock)

DENVER (AP) – Testimony about alcohol-induced memory failure was among the reasons the Air Force decided not to prosecute an Air Force Academy cadet on sexual assault charges, officials said.

In a statement released late Monday, the academy said the investigating officer who presided over a hearing for Kyle A. Cressy, a senior at the school outside Colorado Springs, found no reasonable grounds to put him on trial.

Cressy had been charged with assaulting a woman who was “substantially incapacitated” by alcohol in May. The academy announced last week it dropped both counts against him.

At Cressy’s January hearing, the alleged victim testified she was intoxicated and passed out on Cressy’s bed after a night of partying, the Gazette of Colorado Springs reported.

She awoke to find a man having sex with her, she said. She said she didn’t say “no,” kissed him and passed out again.

The AP does not identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted.

The investigating officer cited testimony about the amount of alcohol consumed before the reported assault and that the alleged victim wrote and sent a text message that she couldn’t recall. Expert witnesses testified that it’s possible for someone to consent to sex and suffer an alcohol blackout preventing any recall of the event, the Air Force said.

The investigating officer made a recommendation to the academy’s commandant of cadets, Brig. Gen. Richard Clark, who made the decision to drop the charges.

Cressy’s attorney didn’t immediately return phone calls.

Cressy was one of three cadets charged in late January with sexual misconduct charges.

Clark has recommended that one of them, Stephan H. Claxton, be court-martialed on charges of attempted abusive sexual contact, wrongful sexual contact, assault and underage drinking. The decision on whether to convene a court-martial will be made by the academy’s superintendent, Lt. Gen. Michael Gould.

No recommendation or decision has been made in the case of the third cadet, Robert M. Evenson Jr. A hearing to consider whether he should be court-martialed finished Monday. It could take several days for the investigating officer to submit a report to Clark.

The three cases are not related. The academy has said all three investigations concluded at about the same time.

The number of sexual assaults reported at the academy varies widely from year to year. In the 2010-2011 academic year, 33 were reported, up from 20 in 2009-2010.

Academy officials and outside experts said it’s impossible to determine whether the increase reflected more assaults or more students reporting assaults.

- By Dan Elliott, AP Writer

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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