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Cadet charged with sexual assault


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(CNN) -- A 17-year-old cadet at an all-male military academy outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has been arrested and charged with sexual assault on a fellow student and other forms of abuse on two others.

The cadet who was charged is being held in a juvenile detention facility while police continue their investigation.

The student's parents have withdrawn their son from the Valley Forge Military Academy and College in Wayne, Pennsylvania, rather than face suspension.

A staff member at the school, which counts Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf among its alumni, called police to the school Saturday.

The staff member reported that a cadet had been harassed by another cadet, said Sgt. Sue Cory of the Radnor Police Department.

"A uniformed officer responded to take the report, and once he got there and met with the cadet, it was determined to be a sexual assault," Cory said.

Police found enough evidence to arrest the cadet the same day, they said.

Two other cadets came forward to police Sunday with allegations that they also had been assaulted by the same suspect, Cory said.

All of the alleged assaults took place between January 7 and January 13.

Police would not release ages of the three alleged victims. The school begins with grade seven.

Delaware County District Attorney Mike Green said the 17-year-old cadet has dual citizenship in Kuwait and the United States.

"It is our position that there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial," Green said. He said the 17-year-old is represented by defense attorney Jon Auritt from Media, Pennsylvania. Auritt could not be reached for comment.

Charges related to the first cadet to come forward include statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviant intercourse, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, harassment and stalking.

Charges related to the second alleged victim include indecent assault, harassment and stalking.

Charges related to the third student include indecent assault, terroristic threats, harassment and stalking.

Amy Tennison, a spokeswoman for the academy, said she did not know if the alleged victims or alleged attacker were in the same company or lived in the same barracks.

A letter from academy President Peter Long on the school's Web site encourages parents to "talk with your son openly about this alleged occurrence."

The cadet who was arrested and charged has been "withdrawn from school by his parents in lieu of suspension," Tennison said.

"This kind of thing doesn't happen here," Tennison told CNN in a phone interview. "In nearly 80 years of existence, it just doesn't happen."

The 17-year-old cadet's next court appearance will be January 28 in the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas, Green said.

According to the school's Web site, the Valley Forge Military Academy and College was founded in 1928 and bills itself as "an all male college preparatory boarding school and a two-year transfer college." The site profiles Schwarzkopf among the "notable alumni."

CNN's Diane Sylvester and Shannon Troetel contributed to this story.


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