The alleged sexual assault of a woman by a 23-year-old army cadet on the grounds of the Royal Military College at Duntroon is abhorrent and a blight on the army's values and code of conduct, the college commandant says.
The man, a second-class cadet halfway through his training at Duntroon, faced court on Saturday charged with two counts of sexual intercourse without consent, and was granted bail.
Royal Military College commandant Brigadier David Luhrs said the allegations, if proven true, would result in tough punishment not only from the legal system, but also from the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
"Without making any judgment in this case, I can't be any clearer when I say that the behaviour alleged to have taken place in this circumstance is completely abhorrent to me personally, and entirely at odds with the values and the standards of behaviour
that I demand here at the Royal Military College, and more importantly, that the army demands of its future leaders," Brigadier Luhrs told reporters on Saturday.
"It's the type of behaviour for which transgressors will be dealt with by civil authorities and will also feel the full weight of my authority and that of the Defence Force discipline act."
A 21-year-old woman contacted police at 2am (AEST) on Thursday to report that a man known to her had entered her house within the military complex and sexually assaulted her before fleeing.
Officers, assisted by Military Police, found the man at 5am within the grounds of Duntroon.
The man was granted bail in the ACT Magistrates Court on Saturday, with conditions stating he must not approach the victim and must return to court in three weeks' time.
The 23-year-old was silent throughout the brief hearing.
Brigadier Luhrs said the alleged incident was at odds with the army's values of respect, honesty, compassion and trust.
"Behaviour such as what's been alleged in this circumstance falls well outside of that frame, and because it falls well outside that frame, I have a zero tolerance for it," he said.
Brigadier Luhrs said the army would support all parties involved in the alleged incident as investigations continued.
The college and the Australian Defence Force Investigative Service are assisting ACT Policing, the ADF said in a statement later on Saturday.
The sexual assault allegation comes just weeks after a report into Defence culture and the treatment of women urged the federal government to create a new body to examine more than 700 complaints of abuse within the Defence Force.