Three Naval Academy students will face rape charges for allegedly assaulting a female classmate in April 2012, according to news reports. The news comes less than a month after President Barack Obama spoke about sexual assaults in the military to graduating seniors at the Annapolis, Md., school.
The three men were all members of the college's football team at the time of the incident, which reportedly occurred at an off-campus house.
Although the significant delay in charges being filed comes amid high-profile military sexual assaults and calls for taking sexual misconduct cases out of the armed forces' hands, it appears that the alleged victim caused the delay.
Investigators initially looked into the woman's complaint, sources told NBC News in June, but she decided not to pursue the allegations four months after reporting the incident. In February 2013 - ten months after the alleged rapes - she renewed her complaint.
It's not immediately clear what the charges will be and the men's names have not been released to the public.
Last month the accuser's attorney, Susan Burke, said that her client was raped while passed out from alcohol consumption at an Annapolis house.
"She learned from friends and social media that three football players were claiming to have had sexual intercourse with her while she was incapacitated," Burke said, according to the Washington Post.
Burke said the woman stopped cooperating with investigators last year because she was being ostracized by classmates.
"The message that was being sent loud and clear was that she was getting in trouble for coming forward, and yet nothing was happening to the men who were involved in the wrongdoing," Burke told NBC News.
During his May 24 remarks at the Naval Academy's graduation ceremony Obama said: "those who commit sexual assault are not only committing a crime, they threaten the trust and discipline that make our military strong. That's why we have to be determined to stop these crimes, because they've got no place in the greatest military on Earth."
Several alleged sexual assaults by military members attracted media attention this year. In May the man overseeing the Air Force's sexual assault prevention program, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, was arrested after allegedly groping a woman in a northern Virginia parking lot. Last week an Army officer stationed at Ft. Hood was charged with paying for sex with another soldier in an arrangement set up by one of the Texas base's sexual assault prevention coordinators – who also is being investigated for sexual assault, The Associated Press reported.
A survey conducted in 2012 and released in January by the Defense Department showed that 6.1 percent of females and 1.2 percent of males employed by the military said they experienced unwanted sexual contact that year. This month Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., blocked an effort to remove sexual assault cases from the military's chain of command.