Former Star Quarterback Expelled From Naval Academy After Sex-Related Convictions
Friday, April 13th 2007, 9:41 pm
News On 6
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) _ The Navy expelled the former quarterback at the U.S. Naval Academy who was cleared of rape last summer but found guilty of lesser offenses, a move his attorney called ``profoundly unfair'' on Friday.
Navy Secretary Donald C. Winter called Lamar Owens Jr.'s conduct ``unsatisfactory'' and ordered the 23-year-old to reimburse the school $90,797.75.
The Navy said it waived a third of his education expenses in Annapolis ``in recognition of his noteworthy professional conduct during the time he served as a midshipman following his anticipated graduation date.''
Owens had been scheduled to graduate last spring.
His attorney, Reid Weingarten, said he was ``surprised that the Navy accepts the hideous double standard this case created _ Lamar's accuser and her friends were serial violators of academy rules and are sailing without punishment to their graduations.''
While not offering details about an appeal, Weingarten added: ``We will continue to seek justice in this case.''
A military jury acquitted Owens in July of raping a female midshipman in her room at the academy in early 2006. But the jury of five Naval officers convicted him on charges of conduct unbecoming an officer and disobeying a lawful order. Jurors had recommended no punishment.
Owens told a military jury during his court martial that the sex was consensual. His defense team attacked the woman's account of the incident, saying she was drunk and her memory of the incident was fuzzy.
Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Rodney Rempt, who recommended Owens' dismissal in February, said it had been a tough issue for everyone associated with the academy.
``Any allegation of sexual harassment, misconduct or assault is a sad event _ sad for the midshipmen involved, sad for their families, and sad for the Brigade,'' he said.
The Navy's decision to discharge Owens on Thursday was made two days after a military jury sentenced another midshipman and former football player, Kenny Ray Morrison, to two years in prison for sexually assaulting a fellow student in a Washington hotel last year.