A commissioned officer in the Navy SEALs faces sex-crime charges stemming from an alleged assault on a woman in November, according to his criminal charge sheet.
On June 29, Navy officials charged Lt. Joseph “Joey” Benevento with two violations of military law for allegedly placing the woman — who isn’t identified — on a bed, removing her pants and penetrating her without consent. The incident allegedly occurred at an undisclosed location in San Diego on Nov. 6.
Rear Adm. Timothy Szymanski, commander of the Coronado-based Naval Special Warfare Command, has greenlighted a preliminary investigation. No decision has been reached on whether Benevento will proceed to what are called Article 32 proceedings, which resemble a civilian grand-jury hearing.
Messages placed at Benevento’s office, on a personal telephone and social media sites on Wednesday weren’t returned.
On Friday, Benevento’s criminal defense attorney Michael Waddington insisted his client was innocent.