West Point Cadet from Region 8 Convicted of Rape

SEPTEMBER 29, 2006 - Posted at 7:35 a.m. CDT, updated at 2:27 p.m. CDT

WEST POINT, NY - A West Point cadet from southeast Missouri has been convicted by a military jury of rape and sentenced to eight years in prison.

Lonnie Story, 22, of Poplar Bluff, heard the verdict and sentence yesterday.  Story is a 2002 graduate of Twin Rivers High School in Qulin.

Story is the first cadet to be found guilty of rape since women were admitted to the U.S. Military Academy in 1976.  The case involved two former female cadets.

A jury of five senior military officers deliberated more than ten hours before convicting Story on one count each of rape and attempted rape.

An Army prosecutor says Story has tarnished the reputation of West Point, "where trust, loyalty, honesty and respect are supposed to mean the world."

Military officials said Story was on leave when the incidents happened in January and October of 2005.  Story's civilian lawyer says he will appeal the conviction.

The two women left West Point without graduating.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)