- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 19, 2013

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The U.S. Naval Academy has charged three Navy football players with sexually assaulting a female midshipman more than a year ago.

The academy said Wednesday that the male midshipmen are being charged with rape, sexual assault or other sexual misconduct, and making a false official statement.

Cmdr. John Schofield says the case is still in the pre-trial phase and declined further comment.

Earlier this week, the naval academy superintendent sent the case to Article 32 proceedings. They are the military equivalent of a preliminary hearing or grand jury investigation, and determine if there’s evidence to proceed to court-martial.

The case comes as a string of sexual assault cases in the military has drawn attention and criticism in Congress, the Pentagon and the White House.

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