A U.S. Naval Academy midshipman faces a court-martial trial for allegedly raping an enlisted sailor last spring, according to charge sheets provided to Navy Times.
Midshipman 1st Class Michael J. Wallace, 23, was slated to graduate with the class of 2018, but academy spokeswoman Jenny Erickson said he remains at the school as the case proceeds.
Wallace is charged with allegedly sexually assaulting a sleeping personnel specialist seaman reservist on March 11, 2018, in Pensacola, Florida, charge sheets state.
He is also charged with “causing bodily harm” to the reservist during the “nonconsensual” act, military prosecutors allege.
Wallace’s attorney did not respond to requests for comment sent through public affairs officials at the academy and Naval District Washington, where the trial is scheduled to begin on April 8.
The midshipman also faces obstruction of justice charges, according to charge sheets.
Prosecutors contend Wallace urged an unnamed Marine Corps second lieutenant “to lie to a Naval Criminal Investigative Service special agent” on May 1 “to impede an investigation into the actions of Midshipman Wallace.”
Wallace also drew a similar charge for allegedly taking a seaman’s cellphone and deleting “communications” from it.
The names of victims are redacted in the charge sheets provided to Navy Times, so it remains unclear whether the phone belonged to the same seaman who was allegedly raped.
The program allows “exceptionally capable students” in the top 15 percent of their class to engage in independent study and research during their senior year, according to the academy’s website.
A native of Taylor, Michigan, and the Academics Officer for the academy’s 12th Company, Wallace had been named a Schwarzman Scholar in late 2017 and was scheduled to pursue a graduate degree in China.
After completing the program, he was supposed to report to Nuclear Power School in Charleston, South Carolina, to enter the training pipeline to join the submarine force, according to the Naval Academy.
Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.