West Point Cadet Could Face 25 Years In Military Prison

By Shannon Davidson

(LOUISVILLE, May 3rd, 2004, 6 p.m.) -- West Point cadet and Louisville native Mark Conliffe is accused of taking photos of nude women without their knowledge and scanning them into a computer. If convicted, he could face up to 25 years in military prison. WAVE 3's Shannon Davidson reports.

When you think of West Point Military Academy, a few words may come to mind: courage, discipline, honor. But last week, one cadet from Louisville was charged with violating several of the codes and standards that West Point cadets follow.

Conliffe, 23, is charged with taking nude and semi-nude photos of eight women, most of whom were cadets. The pictures were later posted on a cadet's personal computer that was accessible to others.

Andrea Hamburger, a spokeswoman for West Point, couldn't say how or where the photos of the women were taken. But she did say they were taken without consent. "We do know that the photos date back to May of 2002, but how long they had been posted, I do not know the answer to that."

Conliffe faces a total of 15 violations, including unlawful entry and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman. If convicted, he could be kicked out of the Army, forfeit any pay, and spend more than 25 years in a military prison.

We tried to contact Conliffe's father, Jefferson Circuit Judge Kenneth Conliffe, but he didn't return our phone call.

Conliffe was senior class president at Trinity High School, where he played football and made the honor roll all four years.

One Trinity yearbook picture shows Conliffe with the nickname "Cyber Boy" in the caption because his face represented Trinity in newspapers, billboards, and the theatre screen at Tinseltown.

Conlifee graduated from Trinity in 2000. On Monday the school released this statement: "The charges against Cadet Mark conliffe are very serious and very unfortunate. We are confident the academy will conduct a thorough and fair investigation. Our prayers go out to all those involved with or connected to the situation."

Despite Conliffe's squeaky clean image as a teen, Hamburger says he has run afoul of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. "Cadets must live in an atmosphere that respects their personal dignity and their right to privacy."

The next step for Cadet Conliffe is a pre-trial investigation that is similar to a civilian grand jury. After that, Conliffe could face a court-martial.

Conliffe is continuing his regular duties until the pre-trial investigation is complete.

Online Reporter: Shannon Davidson

Online Producer: Michael Dever