Cadet's Rape Defense: "I Thought She Was My Girlfriend"

January 30 2005, 8:38 AM

How's this for a novel defense to a rape charge? Shorter version: "It was dark. I was drunk. I thought she was my girlfriend."

The charge stems from a diving club field trip to New Mexico to Santa Rosa, N.M., last year. Kuster is alleged to have raped a female cadet, who has graduated and is now a commissioned officer. Kuster and his girlfriend, Katherine "Kat" Ivey, entered a room where a number of cadets were sleeping. They had sex before going to sleep next to the alleged victim, according to hearing testimony from other cadets. The alleged victim, whose name has not been released, said she awoke early in the morning to find a man she believed to be Kuster sexually assaulting her. When she spoke to him he immediately stopped, she testified. When the group returned to the academy she reported the incident.