- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 23, 2008

(AP) A female midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy testified yesterday that another midshipman raped her in her dorm room after he had been drinking, a case involving two issues that have bedeviled the academy in recent years: alcohol abuse and sexual misconduct.

Midshipman Mark Calvanico, 21, is accused of rape, making a false statement to investigators, conduct unbecoming an officer and unauthorized absence in an incident said to have happened in October in Bancroft Hall.

Defense attorney Michael Waddington argued that there was no evidence of “forcible rape” and that his client simply wanted to “schmooze his way into a make-out session” with someone who had expressed romantic interest in him.

“It’s our position there was no intercourse no intercourse, no rape,” Mr. Waddington told Lt. John Clady, the investigating officer in the case who is assigned to issue an opinion on whether the case should proceed to a court-martial.

Vice Adm. Jeffrey Fowler, the superintendent of the Naval Academy, ultimately will decide whether Midshipman Calvanico, a student in his third year, will stand trial.

The woman, who is in her second year at the academy, said Midshipman Calvanico forced himself on her after making a third visit to her dorm room after midnight in the early morning hours of Oct. 14. She testified that she told him to leave her alone, but he wouldn’t listen.

“He was drunk, and he was very forceful,” she said.

The woman said she talked with Midshipman Calvanico, even though he wasn’t invited and she already was in bed. He had been out drinking with a friend on a Saturday night before he stopped by. It was against academy regulations for him to be in the woman’s room at that hour.

She went back to sleep after Midshipman Calvanico left to take care of his friend, who was ill from drinking too much, she said. When he returned for a third visit, the woman tearfully testified, he “pinned down” her arms and raped her. She paused and wept several times during her testimony and struggled to describe details of the incident.

“He raped me,” she said under questioning. “I mean, what do you want me to say?”

She also testified that after Midshipman Calvanico left, she ran to a friend in the dorm, reported the incident and was taken to a hospital.

Lt. Clady asked for details but didn’t always get the depth of information he wanted.

“You remember a lot, then you forget a lot, too,” he said.

The woman’s roommate, who was trying to sleep at the time, also testified. She said she often had her back to them, but she noted how their “emotion level was escalating” by the time Midshipman Calvanico stopped by a third time.

Naval Criminal Investigative Service Agent Michelle Robinson testified that DNA from both midshipmen was found on the inside and outside of a pair of boxer shorts Midshipman Calvanico was wearing that night. Under questioning by the defense, Miss Robinson said Midshipman Calvanico’s DNA was not found on a vaginal swab of the woman or on the blankets, sheets or clothes. Miss Robinson also said no bruises or cuts were found on the woman.

The Naval Academy has faced scrutiny over the past several years for its response to sexual assault and harassment on campus. The academy instituted a program last summer that requires midshipmen to attend training seminars on sexual misconduct over their four years at the school. The program began with the class of 2011, this year’s freshmen.

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