Air Force senior cadet Steven Fox in Colorado Springs has been charged with assaulting a man he took out on a date to an academy dance in 2015. The charges accuse Fox of penetrating his former date with a finger and rubbing himself on the man's leg for sexual gratification against his wishes. An officer worked with prosecutors to determine if there's enough evidence to court-martial Fox. Prosecutors used an investigative report and video interviews with Fox and his victim as evidence at his preliminary hearing. If convicted of the charges, Fox could spend the next 20 years in prison.
Lt. Olivia Hoff is the prosecutor in the case and told hearing officer Maj. Joseph Smiga, "There is reasonable belief that cadet Fox committed the offenses he is charged with." Fox hired defense attorney Capt. Joseph Groff who argued on his behalf that Fox had a romantic relationship with his date and that he acted with consent. Groff believes, "This case falls short." The case is the first of it's kind at the academy since it involves homosexual acts and is a landmark after the 2011 repeal of the military ban preventing gays from enlisting. Before the repeal, any sexual act between two men is considered a sodomy charge under military law.
Fox joined the academy shortly after the repeal and was known for his efforts to convince men to report sexual assaults. He even received an award praising his efforts to stop sexual assaults. Fox's attorney said, "He has been committed to appropriate sexual conduct." Hoff also used statements by both Fox and the victim to point out that neither denied having dorm room sex, but the alleged victim also said he asked Fox to stop. "It is the reason to believe that Fox did not gain consent," according to Smiga.
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