WASHINGTON — A Marine officer and former Naval Academy instructor found guilty of fraternization and indecent acts with two mids was sentenced Monday to 60 days confinement.
Maj. Mark Thompson will serve his time at a military jail in Chesapeake, Va., an academy release said. The jury also sentenced him to a $2,500 fine, per month, for two years and a reprimand that will become a permanent part of his record.
Once his sentence is done, Thompson will face a board of inquiry to determine whether he can continue his service.
Thompson was found guilty of one count of indecent acts, two counts of conduct unbecoming an officer and two counts of fraternization. He was found not guilty of raping a mid at his home in April 2011, a jury determined late Friday.
The officer’s court-martial began last Tuesday at Washington Navy Yard and his sentencing began early Monday morning.
Thompson was accused of assaulting the mid on April 30, 2011, along with having consensual sex with another mid that same evening. It was the day of the academy’s annual croquet match with St. John’s College, and both women had spent the day drinking at the event, according to their testimony. They testified that the night ended at Thompson’s home where they played strip poker and drank multiple tequila shots. After allegedly moving to the bedroom, one woman, now a Marine second lieutenant, testified she was sexually assaulted. The other mid, Sarah Stadler, now an ensign, said she had consensual sex with the major that night, and that it was just the latest of multiple sexual encounters with him.
The woman who accused of him of rape testified that her memory of the night is hazy.
“I’m not really sure if I struggled. I don’t think I did because I was so shocked and confused, like some out-of-body experience,” she told the jury.
But Thompson’s defense attorneys said the Marine was a “victim of fabrication” and that while the two mids did arrive at his house, they only used the bathroom and then left.
The defense tried to undermine both womens’ credibility with the jury, presenting a series of text messages that included one from Stadler to his rape accuser that said “What’s the story so I don’t mix it up?”
She responded, “Say anything and everything ... haha.”
In addition, the defense raised a more recent issue in Stadler’s past: a captain’s mast she faced in March for lying about a relationship with a junior enlisted sailor aboard the destroyer Howard, where she is stationed in San Diego. Many former classmates and shipmates testified that the ensign was untrustworthy.
The 9-panel jury included seven Navy officers — two of them women — and two male Marine officers, all O-4 and above.