CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Two Australian military cadets were arrested Friday after police said they were involved in a scandal in which a female cadet accused a fellow student of secretly filming her having sex and showing it to his friends.
The defense force has been plagued by a series of scandals in recent months, and the woman’s accusations prompted the government to order investigations into the treatment of women in the military.
Daniel McDonald, 19, and Dylan de Blaquiere, 18, appeared Friday in Canberra’s ACT Magistrates Court on charges they used a communication service to cause offense. McDonald is also charged with an act of indecency.
The charges came three weeks after an 18-year-old woman alleged that a fellow first-year cadet at the Australian Defense Force Academy with whom she had consensual sex secretly filmed their encounter and transmitted it via Skype to six other students.
The woman said she had no idea she had been filmed until military officials told her. Photos of the encounter were also circulated around the academy, she said. Her identity has been suppressed by the court.
De Blaquiere and McDonald have not entered a plea. If convicted, de Blaquiere faces up to three years in prison while McDonald faces up to five years.
Police have not released details of the accusations against them. The cadets were granted bail and ordered to reappear in court on May 20.
Last month, the defense force came under fire after racist, expletive-laden comments made by Australian soldiers serving in Afghanistan were aired on social and broadcast media. In a video posted on Facebook, soldiers were heard using racist terms in reference to Afghans.