By BRIAN WITTE
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - 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.