- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 4, 2008

ANNAPOLIS | A Naval Academy midshipman won’t stand trial by court-martial on rape and other charges relating to an October encounter in a dormitory after a night of drinking, the academy said Tuesday.

Mark Calvanico, of Secaucus, N.J., was charged with rape, indecent assault, indecent acts and conduct unbecoming an officer after a female midshipman accused him of assaulting her.

Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Jeffrey Fowler’s decision agrees with Lt. John Clady’s recommendation of nonjudicial punishment after an Article 32 hearing, which resembles a civilian grand jury proceeding.

Midshipman Calvanico, who was in his third year at the time, could still face administrative punishment including loss of privileges, restriction, demerits or possible expulsion, spokeswoman Jenny Erickson said. The academy could also decide not to punish Midshipman Calvanico, who is currently taking part in the academy’s summer training.

Midshipman Calvanico is relieved by the decision, said his attorney, Michael Waddington. “The criminal charges are gone,” Mr. Waddington said. “It’s up to the academy now to determine whether or not he should face some kind of an administrative punishment.”

The woman testified tearfully that Midshipman Calvanico pinned her down and raped her in her bed during a third visit to her dorm room after 3 a.m., while a roommate slept about 12 feet away. The two had been flirting with each other and had even discussed making an official request for one of them to be transferred out of their company to avoid violating policies against fraternization, according to an investigator’s report.

A Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent testified at the hearing that DNA from both midshipmen was found on a pair of boxer shorts Midshipman Calvanico had been wearing that night. However, none of Midshipman Calvanico’s DNA or semen was found in a rape exam of the accuser.

Lt. Clady concluded that both of those samples support testimony from Midshipman Calvanico and the accuser’s roommate “that there was consensual kissing and sexual activity short of sexual intercourse.” He said there was “almost complete lack of physical evidence” for the rape charge.

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