Air Force Cadet Athletes' Alleged Roofie-Filled Party Documented in Damning New Report
Update below: As we've reported, the scandal at the Air Force Academy that followed in the wake of "The War Within," then-Westword staffer Julie Jargon's 2003 feature about female cadets victimized by sexual assault, led to changes at the institution intended to demonstrate that supervisors take the problem seriously. But these alterations haven't prevented such crimes from taking place.
Stephan Claxton. More photos and original documents below.
A case in point was the 2012 conviction of Stephan Claxton on two separate incidents of sexual misconduct. And unfortunately, this incident wasn't isolated. A new report reveals that Claxton was among a slew of recruited athletes to allegedly break the Academy's honor code via use of roofies, spice and more -- and a full-scale investigation is expected to launch soon. Details, documents and photos below.
In a June 2012 post, we noted that the main allegations against Claxton dated back to incidents in March and November 2011, when he was an AFA junior; they're sketched out in the official charge sheet on view below. In the first, Claxton was said to have placed a cadet's hand on his penis while engaging in underage drinking. In the second, he was accused of striking a fellow cadet on the face with his fist and unbuttoning and unzipping her pants without her consent, as well as forcibly kissing and choking her.
A panel of seven Air Force officers subsequently found him guilty regarding two of the three charges against him -- the ones pertaining to the incidents described above. However, he was cleared in a third matter that allegedly took place in a hotel room circa May 2011. He faced up to nine years in a military prison, but he reportedly received a much lighter sentence: six months of confinement and discharge.
This is only one of many tales told in "Broken Code," a first-rate investigation by Colorado Springs Gazette reporter Tom Roeder.
In addition to recapping the fates of athletes such as linebacker Jamil Cooks (he was "convicted of abusive sexual contact after a woman said Cooks sexually assaulted her" and was discharged after spending five months in pretrial confinement) and wide receiver Anthony Daniels Jr. (he was sentenced to eight months after his March 2013 conviction on charges of attempted sodomy), Roeder breaks new ground thanks to a series of documents obtained via open records requests.
Following the AFA football squad's 2010 victory over Navy, for instance, a house party allegedly included "binge drinking and widespread use of the marijuana substitute 'spice,' which is illegal under military law," Roeder writes.
In the end, more than three dozen cadets were reportedly investigated for spice use in general, with 26 of them leaving the school due to either expulsion or resignation. Roeder was unable to determine how many of the group's members were athletes, but witness accounts suggest that a number of them were.
Anthony Daniels Jr.
Considerably more disturbing is the account of a house party that followed another AFA win, this time a December 2011 dismantling of the Colorado State University Rams. The heavily redacted document on the subject reveals that two bottles of Jack Daniels were on hand, with one featuring a blue cap to designate that it had been dosed with Rohypnol and Ketamine -- "commonly referred to as 'rufilin' or 'roofies,'" the author notes. The blue-capped version was reserved exclusively for females.
Continue for more about the Air Force athletes-related report, including another photo and four documents.