A federal judge is giving the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy an extra week to submit any disciplinary charges against seven students — all former members of the men’s soccer team — who are under federal investigation and have not been allowed to graduate.
Rear Adm. James A. Helis, superintendent of the Kings Point service academy, placed the students on “deferred graduate status” in June, citing a sexual misconduct investigation conducted by the U.S. Transportation Department’s Office of Inspector General into members of the soccer team.
The seven seniors sued, saying they had not been informed of the charges against them and seeking reinstatement in order to graduate.
U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Wexler, in a July 6 ruling, gave prosecutors until Monday to file the academy’s disciplinary charges against the students. If that was not done, the judge said, he would grant the students’ motion.
Government lawyers said in court papers this week that school investigators needed more time to finish interviewing current students, many of whom are out-of-state or have been “scattered across the globe” since the school year ended last month. The new term begins Wednesday, and students must report to campus by 6 p.m. Sunday.
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