- The Washington Times - Monday, April 9, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) - A Naval Academy midshipman was found guilty Monday of sexually assaulting a fellow student at a Washington hotel last year, a verdict that could lead to prison time and his dismissal from the Annapolis military school.

After three hours of deliberation, a jury of seven Navy and Marine Corps officers convicted Kenny Ray Morrison of forcing himself on a female midshipman in February 2006 after a night of drinking at a nearby nightclub. He was also found guilty of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman for his actions during the incident.

However, the jury cleared him of charges that he also had sex with another midshipman against her will in April 2006.

Morrison, 24, quivered slightly as the verdict was read while he stood at attention behind the defense table, his fists clenched, his chest out. He faces a possible 10-year prison sentence, dismissal from the academy and forefeiture of pay. The military jury reconvenes Tuesday to consider a penalty.

A former backup linebacker on the Navy football team, Morrison is the second Navy football player to be court-martialed in the past year on sexual assault charges.

A military jury cleared former star quarterback Lamar Owens Jr. of rape last year, but convicted him of lesser offenses. The secretary of the Navy is reviewing a recommendation from Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Rodney Rempt that Owens be expelled without graduating or receiving his officer commission.

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