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Ex-cadet faces Kan. hearing in sexual battery case

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- A former cadet leader at a Kansas military school is expected in court this week to face charges of sexual battery against a younger student.

A preliminary hearing for 18-year-old David James Burke of McLean, Va., is scheduled Friday in Saline County District Court. The case stems from incidents that occurred in October at St. John's Military School in Salina involving a cadet age 16 or older.

Defense attorney Dick Blackwell didn't return a phone message Friday but has said Burke denies anything in a way of a felony occurred.

The case comes as the boarding school fights a federal lawsuit filed by 11 former cadets and their families. They allege the school's quasi-military cadet program, which gives higher-ranking cadets the power to discipline students, encourages physical and mental abuse.