WEST POINT, NY – Testimony began Wednesday evening in the court martial of West Point cadet Lukas M. Saul, of Ithaca, according to an Associated Press report. Saul is charged with sexually assaulting a fellow cadet on three occasions in 2012.
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Saul, 23, is charged with one count each of aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and sodomy under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. He could face punishments up to dismissal from the army, forfeiture of pay, and lifetime imprisonment.
Saul’s accuser, who is now an officer in the Army, testified that Saul had an “explosive” side to his personality, according to the Associated Press report. She described one incident where Saul allegedly forced oral sex on her in the basement of her partents’ home despite her asking him to stop. Describing another incident later in 2012, she said, “There was such a darkness in his eyes. It’s almost animalistic.”
Prosecutor for the case, Maj. Jenny Schlack, referred to Saul as a “Jekyll and Hyde” type, saying he had a darker side that came out behind closed doors, the report says.
According to the Associated Press story, Saul’s defense attorney, Gil Spencer, said the prosecution was telling only part of the story. Noting that they had a 17-month relationship in which they engaged in consensual sex, “thought they were in love” and then broke up. He characterized what happened between them as “a typical teenage thing.”
“It might have happened to any one of us in this courtroom,” Spencer said, according to the Middletown Times-Herald record.
The accuser is set to finish her testimony on Thursday.
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