By Mike Hellgren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Lies and power. A sex scandal at the Naval Academy derailed the career of an instructor who is behind bars tonight.

WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren has more on Marine Major Mark Thompson’s fall from grace.

It began with a sexual encounter with two students six years ago. At one point, a military panel cleared him of the charges, until he sabotaged himself by going to the press.

The problems started in 2011 with a drunken threesome inside Thompson’s home in Annapolis.

According to The Washington Post’s report, Thompson was court court-martialed after a female midshipman said he’d raped her during that encounter.

An administrative board ultimately cleared Thompson of wrongdoing, but when he went to The Post to try to clear his name in the press, it lead to the discovery of messages on one of his accuser’s cell phones — damning evidence that Thompson had lied under oath.

His accuser spoke with The Post, the military re-opened the investigation and on Thursday, Thompson pleaded guilty of conduct unbecoming an officer, and for making a false statement.

He faces up to six years in prison.

All of this as sexual assaults at the Naval Academy are on the rise.

The Associated Press reports more than one in 10 women surveyed last year experienced unwanted sexual contact.

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