- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A 20-year-old midshipman was on the witness stand about six hours yesterday at the court-martial of a fellow midshipman at the Naval Academy charged with raping her.

The female midshipman gave her account of what happened in her dorm room the early morning of Jan. 29 involving Midshipman Lamar S. Owens Jr., 22, the quarterback of the school’s football team.

“He leaned over, trying to kiss me on the mouth. I closed my mouth because I wanted him to stop. I told him I had a boyfriend. Then I rolled over,” she said.

“Next thing I knew, my pants were off, and he was on top of me,” she said in words almost identical to her testimony in March in an Article 32 hearing that is the equivalent of a civilian grand jury hearing.

Asked to identify her assailant, she pointed across the Washington Navy Yard courtroom at Midshipman Owens, who sat expressionless. Both were wearing immaculate white uniforms.

He is charged with rape, conduct unbecoming of an officer, and violating a protective order. If convicted, he could be dishonorably discharged and sentenced to life in prison.

Midshipman Owens quarterbacked the football team last season to an 8-4 record.

He did not graduate with his class in the spring because of the criminal investigation.

In an opening statement, civilian defense attorney Reid Weingarten said his client should not be made “a poster child for crimes he didn’t commit.”

“It was poor judgment when he went to the room of a female midshipman early in the morning of January 29, but he didn’t rape the woman,” said Mr. Weingarten. “He realized that this is not where he should be. It was consensual. There was no rape.”

The woman testified next, She acknowledged that she had drunk too much alcohol that night and had experienced blackouts, thus could not recall details of her actions.

“I don’t know,” she replied, when she was asked what happened between Midshipman Owens’ kiss and when she said he was on top of her.

She replied the same way when asked for other details about the night in late January.

She was able to recall, however, that she had eight drinks at the Acme Bar & Grill in Annapolis, then walked back to the academy dormitory instead of riding with girlfriends. She said she had begun drinking alcohol in high school and frequently got drunk and blacked out. She also said she had been reprimanded frequently for breaking academy rules.

Her boyfriend and three girlfriends persuaded her to file a complaint against Midshipman Owens, she said, but she did not do so until Feb. 6.

She said she and Midshipman Owens had occasional encounters since she entered the academy three years ago, but they were short and casual, and that they never had dated or partied together. She said he recently had become more flirtatious.

A prosecutor, Cmdr. David Wilson, said the rape occurred because she had not consented and “the evidence will show she had no motive to lie.”


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