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Alleged sex assaults detailed at cadet's hearing

By: JAKOB RODGERS
November 7, 2012
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An Air Force Academy cadet met an academy football player because he said he needed someone to talk to one night in early November 2011.

Moments after he locked the door behind her, she realized he wanted something else.

The female cadet’s accusations came Wednesday during an evidence hearing for Anthony D. Daniels Jr., a junior football player charged with sodomy and aggravated sexual contact in connection with the incident. Prosecutors also charged him with attempted sodomy stemming from allegations he tried to force himself on another woman two years earlier.

Daniels is the first of two cadets to appear at an evidence hearing after being charged Sept. 18 in separate sexual misconduct cases.

Jamil D. Cooks, a junior who was expected to start on the academy’s football team this year, faces attempted sodomy, aggravated sexual assault and aggravated sexual contact charges. Details have not been released.

Daniels’ hearing, expected to last two days, will determine whether he faces a court-martial. The hearing officer will make a recommendation to the commandant.

On Wednesday, the victim of a 2009 incident said she never intended for investigators to open a case.

While working on homework together, the woman said Daniels suddenly got up, turned off the light and tried to kiss her. When she refused, she said Daniels grabbed her forearms and led her to a chair, where he allegedly tried to force her head onto his groin.

The meeting was the first face-to-face encounter between the two, the woman said. They were previously Facebook friends, she said.

The Gazette does not typically print the names of sexual assault victims.

Two years later, another cadet said she was forced into oral sex with Daniels.

After he repeatedly asked her to meet him to talk, she said she relented and agreed to meet in an academic room doubling as a storage facility. When she arrived, she said he locked the door behind and fell silent.

The sight of him locking the door didn’t raise alarms, she said.

“I was there for a reason — I was there to talk to him,” she said.

But instead of talking, she said he kissed her — then allegedly tried to keep her from leaving the room by leaning into her body. After she fell in a chair, she said Daniels straddled each armrest and allegedly forced her to perform oral sex.

“I didn’t black out, but I definitely stopped thinking about what was going on,” she said.

He let her go after becoming frustrated with her attempts to break free, the woman testified.

She said she received a text message from Daniels apologizing shortly after the incident, in part reading “I don’t really know what came over me.”

Air Force investigators didn’t contact either victim until about two months after the second assault because each made “restricted” reports — meaning the academy’s sexual assault advocate couldn’t report the incidents to investigators.

The system is designed to offer counseling and care for sex assault victims without forcing them to face investigators and take the stand after an alleged assault, academy officials say.

Victims decide whether to make the report “restricted” or “unrestricted” while meeting with a sexual assault advocate. They can later change a restricted report to unrestricted — at which point it is forwarded to the academy’s Office of Special Investigations.

After learning of the second alleged assault, the first woman tracked down the second woman, the women testified.

Maj. Beth Hernandez, senior defense attorney, honed in on the fact that neither of the victims screamed, punched or kicked Daniels during the alleged assaults. Hernandez also questioned them about their athletic abilities.

She also asked about a statement the second woman made to defense attorneys in a pre-hearing meeting.

In a tense moment Wednesday morning, Hernandez repeatedly asked whether the woman said she would find a civilian attorney if Daniels is acquitted to get him expelled from the academy.

“Probably,” she said.


OTHER CASES

Three other cadets were charged in sexual misconduct cases in January. One cadet, Stephan H. Claxton, received a sentence of six months in confiment after being convicted of most counts against him.

Robert M. Evenson Jr. is expected to go to court-martial in Decemberon accusations that he used his position on the academy’s honor board to force a fellow cadet to have sex with him.

Charges were dropped in a case against Kyle A. Cressy.

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