Updated: March 6, 2013 at 12:00 am
Prosecutors say Air Force Academy cadet Anthony Daniels Jr., coaxed two women to meet him under false pretext — first insisting he only wanted to do homework or talk, but really wanting one thing: oral sex.
But a defense attorney for Daniels said the full context of those meetings vindicates the cadet.
The competing portrayals of the case came as attorneys made opening statements on Wednesday in the court-martial of Daniels, who faces charges of aggravated sexual assault, forcible sodomy and attempted forcible sodomy.
A panel of five officers — two men and three women — will determine Daniels’ fate this week, which could include life in prison if convicted. Four of the five panel members would need to agree to return a guilty verdict.
Prosecutors claim Daniels’ grabbed a female Air Force Academy Preparatory School student and tried to force her into oral sex when the two met to do homework in August or September 2009.
The woman escaped when someone opened the door to the room. The woman filed a “restricted report” — a type of report that allows a cadet to receive resources, such as counseling, without triggering a criminal investigation.
Two years later, Daniels allegedly forced a different academy cadet to perform oral sex, Kollman said. The woman had consented to oral sex twice in the past, but refused his advances while the two met to talk in November 2011, the prosecutor said. She also later filed a restricted report.
“The accused is simply not taking ‘no’ for an answer,” Kollmann said.
In a two-minute opening statement, Capt. Eric Morley, a defense attorney, offered few arguments on Daniels’ innocence — mostly to ask that the panel to listen carefully to testimony about what else was going on in the second woman’s life at the time of the alleged assault. He also reminded them that each accusation must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
“There is a just verdict in this case, and that’s not guilty,” Morley said.
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