sexual assault

PIKESVILLE, Md. (AP) - Vice President Joe Biden says $41 million in federal funds approved by Congress will help clear rape kit backlogs across the country and solve crimes.

Along with Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Biden toured a Maryland State Police forensic laboratory in Pikesville on Monday and addressed the importance of clearing the backlog of an estimated 400,000 rape kits that remain untested throughout the U.S.

Biden said the federal funding will help local and state law enforcement agencies test the kits and train personnel.

University of Virginia website

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Legislation to assure that sexual assaults on college campuses are reported to authorities is advancing in the House of Delegates.

A measure is headed Thursday to the full House Court of Justice Committee for a vote after revisions in a subcommittee a day earlier.

It would require college faculty and administrators who become aware of an act of sexual violence to report it to the school's coordinator of compliance with the federal Equal Opportunity in Education Act, commonly known as Title IX.

Universtiy of Virginia logo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Legislation to mandate reporting of alleged campus sexual assaults to police is advancing in the General Assembly.
A state Senate subcommittee approved a bill Monday submitted by Republican Sen. Richard Black of Loudoun County that would require any employee of a state college or university who learns of such an allegation to report it to a local law enforcement agency within 24 hours. Failure to do so would be a misdemeanor.

University of Virginia website

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia lawmakers are far from consensus on legislation dealing with sexual assault on college and university campuses.

That was apparent at the end of a two-hour hearing Thursday by a Senate subcommittee wrestling with the issue.

The panel considered 10 bills, but was unable to reach any conclusions.

The flurry of legislation was spurred by several recent high-profile cases of alleged sex crimes on Virginia campuses.

University of Delaware logo

A commission has been convened by the faculty of the University of Delaware to make recommendations on improving the school system’s sexual harassment and assault policies.

The task force efforts range from looking at education and training programs and holding hearings to conducting an online climate survey to assess the prevalence of sexual assaults on campus.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the initiative comes in the wake of a rally last September held by hundreds of students who called for changes in the school system’s policies.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A national sorority advocacy group says the University of Virginia's suspension of Greek activities isn't the answer to resolving sexual assault and student safety issues.

The National Panhellenic Conference said Tuesday that it supports U.Va.'s plan to review the university's culture and practices and wants to be involved in addressing the issues. But the council says the suspension of sorority activities should be lifted.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia lawmakers are proposing new rules that would require university officials to report allegations of sexual assault to law enforcement personnel and prosecutors.

Three Republican leaders in the House said Monday that violent crimes should be addressed by the criminal justice system, not by school officials.

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Today is the start of the trial of 18 year old Jocori Scarborough who has been charged with second-degree rape among other counts for allegedly assaulting a Parkside High School student last May.

The state has said it will introduce DNA evidence into the case along with a recovered handgun.

Scarborough is also charged with possession of a regulated firearm under the age of 21.

The case remains in Wicomico County Circuit Court despite defense efforts in late August to get the trial moved to a different jurisdiction because of the extensive media coverage.


Bond has been revoked for Jocori Scarborough the 17 year old who is charged with raping a 15 year old fellow student at Parkside High School.

He was taken into custody yesterday after Judge Daniel Mumford said he had just become aware of separate weapons possession charges by prosecutors against the teenager.

Scarborough was originally out on a $100-thousand bond stemming from the rape case.

In addition, he was also out on a $50-thousand bond for the weapons charges.

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Authorities say a school surveillance camera caught a 17 year old rape suspect grabbing a 15 year old female student in a hall at Parkside High School in Salisbury on Monday.

Sgt. David Owens with the Wicomico Bureau of Investigation says the suspect then forced the victim into an area that was not under surveillance and where he allegedly raped the young woman. 

Jocori Scarborough has been charged with first degree rape and assault among other charges…and is currently out on a $100-thousand bail.

17-year old Jocori Scarborough is out on bail after being charged with rape and assault counts involving a 15-year old student on the campus of Parkside High School in Salisbury.

Scarborough also a student at the school is being charged as an adult.

WBOC reports that he was released yesterday on a $100-thousand bond.  

The Wicomico County Sheriff’s office says that the incident occurred on Monday at around 8 a.m after classes had already gotten underway.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - A military judge has found a former U.S. Naval Academy football player not guilty of a sexual assault charge.

The judge on Friday acquitted Joshua Tate of Nashville, Tenn., of one count of aggravated sexual assault.

Tate chose to be tried by a judge rather than a military jury.

Prosecutors initially accused Tate and two other students of sexually assaulting a female student during a 2012 party at an off-campus house in Annapolis, Md., where the school is located.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - CBS and CNN have let a 72-hour window lapse to appeal a military judge's order releasing un-aired interview footage of a woman at the center of a sexual assault case.

Jennifer Zeldis, a military judiciary spokeswoman, confirmed Tuesday that neither network gave notice of an appeal during the window.

Attorneys for Joshua Tate, a former U.S. Naval Academy football player charged with sexual assault, wanted the footage, saying it is relevant to preparation for his March trial.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - A lawyer for a woman at the center of a sexual assault case involving two U.S Naval Academy midshipmen says military prosecutors plan to recommend dropping a charge against one of the men.

The lawyer, Ryan Guilds, said prosecutors told the woman and her lawyers Thursday they intend to recommend dropping the charge against Midshipman Eric Graham of Alabama.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - A court-martial has been scheduled for February for a U.S. Naval Academy student accused of aggravated sexual assault.

Midshipman Josh Tate appeared at an arraignment Monday at the Washington Navy Yard.

The court-martial is scheduled to begin Feb. 10.

The case stems from an April 2012 party at an off-campus house in Annapolis. The alleged victim had been drinking heavily and has testified that she cannot remember having sex with Tate.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A federal judge has denied a request by a U.S. Naval Academy midshipman accused of sexual assault to recuse the academy's superintendent from the case.

Jason Ehrenberg, an attorney for Midshipman Josh Tate, said Wednesday he still hopes to prevail in arguing later that undue command influence has prompted the case to move forward to a court-martial amid a heightened focus on sexual assault in the military.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A lawyer for a U.S. Naval Academy student accused of sexual assault is asking a federal judge to remove the superintendent from deciding who will serve on a court-martial panel that will decide the case.

Jason Ehrenberg, an attorney for Midshipman Josh Tate, wrote in the court filing submitted Tuesday night that Vice Adm. Michael Miller decided to refer the case to a court-martial, despite recommendations from an investigating officer and Miller's own senior counsel not to do so.

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There will be no public disclosure of medical or financial documents in the sexual assault case brought against Sussex County Council member Vance Phillips by Katelynn Dunlap who is seeking unspecified damages.

The judge in the case has ordered her attorneys to keep those confidential including one that shows he was a crime victim.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The U.S. Naval Academy superintendent says two of three midshipmen should face a court-martial in a sexual assault case.

Vice Adm. Michael Miller on Thursday said he has referred the cases of Midshipmen Eric Graham and Joshua Tate to general court-martial. He decided not to refer Midshipman Tra'ves Bush.

The case of the former football players has drawn attention at a time when the White House, Congress and Pentagon are focusing on sexual assaults in the military.

The case stems from an alcohol-fueled April 2012 party at an off-campus house.

Naval Academy Website

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Naval Academy spokesman says an investigative officer who presided over a hearing involving three midshipmen in an alleged sexual assault case has forwarded his recommendations to the academy's superintendent.

Cmdr. John Schofield, the academy spokesman, confirmed Monday the report has been sent to the academy. Vice Adm. Michael Miller, the superintendent, is currently the commanding authority assigned to decide whether the case will proceed to a court-marital.

U.S. Naval Academy website

WASHINGTON (AP) - A midshipman accusing three former Naval Academy football players of sexually assaulting her wants the school's superintendent to remove himself from deciding whether the men will be court-martialed.

The woman's attorney, Susan Burke, announced Thursday that a federal lawsuit filed in Maryland seeks a court order directing Vice Adm. Michael Miller to recuse himself.

U.S. Naval Academy Website

WASHINGTON (AP) - A Navy investigator has testified in a hearing to help determine whether three U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen will face a court martial on sexual assault charges.

Special Agent Michelle Robinson testified Tuesday from Bahrain by video teleconference in the Article 32 hearing at the Washington Navy Yard. Robinson testified that the woman at the center of the case told her in an interview that she was unsure whether sexual encounters with the men were consensual or not.

U.S. Naval Academy website

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen testified Monday at a hearing to help determine whether three students will be court-martialed in a sexual assault case.

Midshipman Christa Kamon, a friend of the alleged victim, testified she saw her fall down while dancing at an alcohol-fueled, off-campus toga party in Annapolis, Md., in April 2012. Kamon also testified her friend was slurring her speech. Defense attorneys questioned Kamon's recollection.

The woman has testified she has no memory of having sex with any of the three midshipmen who are accused in the case.

U.S. Naval Academy Website

WASHINGTON (AP) - A recorded telephone call shows that a female Naval Academy student told one of the midshipmen accused of sexually assaulting her not to talk to investigators.

A defense attorney for one of the three midshipmen accused in the assault played a recording of the telephone call Thursday while cross-examining the woman.

U.S. Naval Academy Website

WASHINGTON (AP) - A woman who is accusing three fellow Naval Academy midshipmen of sexually assaulting her at an off-campus party has testified that she doesn't remember the alleged attack but that rumors spread quickly that she had sex with six to nine people.

The senior testified for more than two hours Wednesday at the Washington Navy Yard at a hearing that will determine if the three former football players will face court-martial.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The U.S. Naval Academy is trying to make training about ways to prevent sexual assault part of the regular academic work day.

Capt. Bill Byrne, the commandant of midshipmen, said Wednesday that's a change, because the training has been done at night, during briefings and in role-playing venues outside of classroom hours. He says it's believed the change will improve the training by making it part of the core curriculum.

Byrne says the academy will implement the change for the spring semester.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A former U.S. Naval Academy history teacher has been acquitted of sexually assaulting a female student but convicted of lesser charges.

A military jury on Friday found Marine Corps Maj. Mark Thompson not guilty of sexual assault but guilty of indecent acts, fraternization and conduct unbecoming an officer.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - President Barack Obama says sexual assault threatens the "trust and discipline" that makes the U.S. military strong and respected.

Speaking at the U.S. Naval Academy commencement ceremony, Obama urged new graduates to exhibit honor and courage in tackling incidents of sexual assault as they assume leadership positions in the military.

Protect Our Defenders Website

The Pentagon has been rocked by another allegation of sexual assault in Fort Hood allegedly involving a sergeant who oversaw the prevention program against such abuse. Baltimore resident Brian Lewis served in the Navy from the late 1990's until 2001 and a Senate committee investigating the scandals that he too was assaulted. He spoke with Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush about his story and reaction to the latest revelations. Lewis is also a member of Protect Our Defenders, an advocacy group involved with this issue.

Sussex County website

Vance Phillips

A lawsuit has been filed against veteran Sussex County council member Vance Phillips claiming that he sexually assaulted a young woman after encouraging her to become involved in politics.

The complaint claims that Phillips forced sex on the woman several times in 2011 just after she turned 18.

The suit alleges that Phillips threatened the young woman not to tell anyone.