Air Force Officials File Rape Charge Against Cadet

An Air Force Academy (search) freshman testified in a military hearing Wednesday that she was raped by a sophomore cadet in his dorm room, saying she drifted in and out of consciousness during the attack.

"There was no way to fight him off. I did not feel like I was in control," said the Pennsylvania woman, who was 18 at the time of the alleged assault on Oct. 18.

The hearing was convene first such charges since a sex scandal broke at the academy earlier this year.

Meester also is charged with indecent assault and providing alcohol.

Wednesday's hearing was similar to a preliminary hearing in civilian court.

Meester's military attorney, Capt. Kathleen Reder, said she did not know yet if he would testify.

The woman who accused Meester of rape reported it immediately and underwent a medical examination, said her lawyer, Steve Werner. He said she was disciplined for fraternizing with older cadets and drinking.

She testified that she had been drinking alcohol before going to Meester's room the night of the alleged assault, and had at least six shots of tequila in his room. She said she had been drunk only two other times in her life.

After one cadet left the room and Meester's roommate went to sleep, Meester began kissing her and taking off her clothes, she testified. She said she later awoke as he raped her.

"The situation scared me and I thought maybe he didn't know who I was because I didn't know who he was," she testified.

In a statement to the Air Force's Office of Special Investigations, the woman had said she believed that Meester thought what they were doing was consensual. On the stand Wednesday, she testified that she was referring to the kissing before the alleged rape.

Meester's father, Doug Meester, of Marco Island, Fla., told The Gazette of Colorado Springs (search) in Wednesday's editions that the acts were consensual.

"We have faith the Air Force is going to take a look at this and see it for what it is. It was absolutely consensual sex between two kids," he said.

The academy outside Colorado Springs has been under scrutiny for months since dozens of female cadets said they were reprimanded or ostracized when they reported being raped. The school's top officers have been reassigned, and the Air Force and Defense Department (search) are conducting investigations.

In the past 10 years, two Air Force cadets have been charged with rape. One was acquitted, and another pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven months in jail. Administrative action was taken in other cases because there was not enough evidence to prosecute, officials said.

Douglas Meester is the first cadet charged with rape but the second to face sex-related charges since the latest scandal erupted.

Cadet Jason Lewis has been charged with sexual assault for allegedly forcing a female cadet to fondle him in his dorm room. Air Force officials held a hearing last week but have not announced whether Lewis will face a court-martial.