Air Force Academy cadet acquitted of sexual misconduct in court martial

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A military judge acquitted an Air Force Academy cadet Thursday of sexual misconduct charges at a court martial.

Cadet 3rd Class Jackson Spalding, a Colorado Springs native who competed for the academy’s track and field team two seasons ago, had been accused of groping a female cadet while they were watching a movie in an on-campus classroom last year.

The allegations were made last December, and Spalding had been charged with one count of sexual assault, two counts of abusive sexual contact, and one charge alleging Spalding had violated a military article for officer conduct.

Spalding opted to face a judge instead of a panel of officers, and Judge Lt. Col. Marvin Tubbs decided there were holes in the woman’s story and acquitted Spalding.

After the charges against him were filed last December, Spalding was removed from the track and field team, where he threw the discus, shot put and hammer.

Spalding went to Discovery Canyon High School, where he won four state championships in track and field.

The Air Force Academy said upon the announcement of Spalding’s acquittal that it would “make all efforts” to protect and support Spalding and the female cadet, and that it is “committed to fostering a culture where each person gives and receives dignity and support.”

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