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The Air Force Academy’s Honor Code is displayed on the school’s terrazzo. Gazette file photo.

An Air Force Academy cadet accused of raping a woman in 2017 will face court-martial next week on sexual assault charges.

Junior cadet Michael Crotts allegedly raped the woman, who wasn’t identified in court papers, "at or near Colorado Springs" sometime between March 1, 2017 and April 1, 2017, his charge sheet says.

The charge — an alleged violation of Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice — was filed in March of this year.

Crotts' court-martial, set to start Sept. 9, likely will include a military jury to weigh evidence and pick a sentence in the event of a conviction.

Air Force Academy cadet faces court-martial on sexual assault charges

While military defendants can choose to face trial by a single judge, almost all pick the jury option. Military juries are unlike civilian panels because unanimous consent isn’t required for a verdict. Instead, a two-thirds majority can decide. The military jury also has wide discretion in sentencing, from a maximum of seven years behind bars in this case, to far lighter punishments including monetary fines and letters of reprimand.

The nation’s military academies have been under the microscope this year over concerns that the vast majority of sexual assaults go unreported.

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@evanochsner

Evan is a 2019 intern at The Gazette. He is a Colorado Springs native who is currently a student at Northwestern University.

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