Naval Academy Sex Assault Trial Begins

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Jury selection began Tuesday for the military trial of a former U.S. Naval Academy history teacher accused of sexually assaulting a female student.

Marine Corps Maj. Mark A. Thompson, 43, is charged with one count of aggravated sexual assault and indecent acts; three counts of conduct unbecoming an officer; and two counts of fraternization. He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted of the sexual assault charge.

The incident allegedly occurred after the annual croquet match between the academy and St. John’s College in April 2011.  Two female midshipmen allegedly went to Thompson’s apartment after drinking alcohol. One of them reported to Navy investigators that Thompson had assaulted her.

Thompson was assigned to the academy in July 2010. He was reassigned shortly after the allegations were made, said Cmdr. John Schofield, an academy spokesman.

Schofield said he could not release additional information about Thompson, including his current assignment.

The Naval Academy preferred charges against Thompson in September 2012. The case was referred to a general court-martial in January.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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