Another Ex-Player Charged With Rape

By Raymond McCaffrey
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A former U.S. Naval Academy football player has been charged with raping two female midshipmen on separate occasions after allegedly drugging them.

The charges came on the day that a special court-martial was to begin for Kenny Ray Morrison, who had been accused of indecent assault and related offenses in an incident at a District hotel in February.

Morrison now faces a general court-martial on the more serious rape allegations in the February incident, as well as another in Annapolis in April, according to charging documents.

Morrison is accused of causing both victims to "ingest unknowingly gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), a Schedule 1 controlled substance, a means likely to cause death or grievous bodily injury."

The Naval Academy would not discuss details of the case or name the accused, saying only in a news release Monday that the existing charges were withdrawn because "additional information affecting the case" had surfaced.

Defense attorney William M. Ferris said yesterday that he was planning to file an ethics complaint over the prosecution's handling of the case.

"If there is evidence concerning GHB concerning the previously alleged victim that hasn't been disclosed to me, then the government has violated the law by not providing it to me," Ferris said. "On the other hand, if there isn't any more evidence, then these charges are devoid of substance, if not downright frivolous."

Ferris said the new charges could bring more than 100 years in prison for his client.

A military judge denied a request this month by prosecutors to introduce hair analysis to determine whether the female midshipman in the February incident had ingested GHB. The judge, Marine Lt. Col. Paul McConnell, said then that hair analysis would only "cause further delay" and ultimately might not be admissible in court because the testing is under scrutiny.

McConnell also said that admitting the evidence posed a danger of "inferring the accused was the source of this quote-unquote date-rape drug."

Morrison is the second academy football player charged this year with sexual misconduct. Last year's starting quarterback, Lamar S. Owens Jr., was cleared of rape but found guilty of conduct unbecoming an officer this summer. A jury assigned no criminal punishment, and Vice Adm. Rodney P. Rempt, the academy's superintendent, is weighing any administrative action.

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