The Air Force Academy last week announced a decision by Brigadier General Johnny Weida to court-martial Douglas Meester, 20, the first cadet to be tried since the rape scandal erupted last year. Weida's move-counter to a recommendation by investigator Major Todd McDowell not to send the case to trial-was applauded by victim advocates. "Clearly, the fact that the judicial process is moving forward, regardless of the outcome, indicates that these cases are being taken more seriously," Dick Wadhams, spokesman for US Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO) told USA Today.
Meester is accused of raping a female cadet last October after she had been drinking with upperclassmen in his dorm. The woman reported the incident to her cadet commander and academy administrators but was instead disciplined for violating rules against having sex with upperclassmen and faced reprimands for illegal drinking, according to the Denver Post.
Should the judge and jury determine that the woman was "asleep, unconscious or intoxicated to the extent that she lacked the mental capacity to consent" to sexual intercourse, Meester could face a maximum sentence of life in prison and dismissal from the Air Force, reported the Denver Post. No trial date has been set.
Media Resources: Reuters 7/2/03; USA Today 7/3/03; Denver Post 7/3/03, 7/6/03; Feminist Daily News Wire
9/12/2014 Violence Against Women Act Turns 20 - Saturday will be the 20th Anniversary of the groundbreaking federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Passed in 1994, VAWA was the first piece of federal legislation to specifically address domestic violence and sexual assault as crimes and to provide federal funding to improve local response to violence against women, including training and resources for law enforcement and judges.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday issued a proclamation commemorating the VAWA anniversary. . . .
9/12/2014 Indiana Woman Charged With Feticide For Premature Delivery - An Indiana woman has been charged with feticide after she delivered prematurely and sought hospital treatment.
Purvi Patel, 33, sought help at an emergency room for vaginal bleeding where it was discovered that she had delivered prematurely at home. . . .