Lamar S. Owens Jr.

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Owens in 2005

Lamar S. Owens Jr. (born September 6, 1983) was a midshipman and starting quarterback at the United States Naval Academy. In 2006 Owens, a 22-year-old senior, was charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) with raping a female midshipman. A court-martial panel found him not guilty of rape but guilty of conduct unbecoming an officer and violating a direct order.[1]

Owens grew up in Savannah, Georgia, and attended Benedictine High School.

At trial, presiding military judge Commander John A. Maksym determined that the superintendent of the Naval Academy, Vice-Admiral Rodney P. Rempt had made comments and sent emails that constituted an appearance of unlawful command influence and granted the defense additional peremptory challenges during jury selection.

The court martial convicted Owens of two violations of the UCMJ, but sentenced him to "no punishment". He was not allowed to graduate, a decision that stirred some controversy.[2]

On January 19, 2007, Vice Admiral Paul E. Sullivan affirmed the jury's decision to clear Owens of raping a female midshipman and impose no punishment for convictions of conduct unbecoming an officer and violating a military protective order.[3]

Navy Secretary Donald C. Winter ruled his conduct "unsatisfactory" and ordered him discharged. On April 12, 2007, Owens was expelled. His education was valued at close to $136,000, but his debt was reduced to approximately $91,000 "in recognition of his noteworthy professional conduct", the Navy stated in a written statement.[4]

Supporters launched an effort on his behalf including, letter-writing and lobbying in Annapolis and Washington.[citation needed]

In 2010, Owens was a coach at the Georgia Institute of Technology under head coach Paul Johnson.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Doty, Cate (March 28, 2007). "Midshipmen Accused of Misconduct on Cruise". New York Times. Retrieved January 4, 2011. 
  2. ^ McCaffrey, Raymond; Vogel, Steve (December 17, 2006). "Case Stirs Criticism of Naval Academy Chief". The Washington Post. 
  3. ^ McCaffrey, Raymond (January 19, 2007). "Commander Supports Clearing Ex-Quarterback". The Washington Post. 
  4. ^ Navy Times: Owens must pay $90K; no degree, commission," April 13, 2007, accessed February 27, 2012; New York Times: "Sports Briefing," April 14, 2007, accessed February 27, 2012
  5. ^ MilitaryTimes.com: Phil Creed, "Lamar Owens is an assistant coach at Georgia Tech. Who knew?," January 6, 2010, accessed February 27, 2012