Two ex-Naval Academy football players face trial in sex assault

The sun sets at Jack Stephens Field at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Credit: Getty Images
The sun sets at Jack Stephens Field at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Credit: Getty Images

Two former U.S. Naval Academy football players accused of sexually assaulting an intoxicated female midshipman will face general courts-martial, the school said on Thursday, in the latest of a spate of sexual misconduct allegations roiling the world’s most powerful military.

Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Admiral Mike Miller has made the decision to charge Eric Graham, 22, with abusive sexual contact and to charge Joshua Tate, 21, with aggravated sexual assault, the school said in a statement.

Graham, a senior, and Tate, a junior, are both also charged with making false official statements.

A third football player in the case, Tra’ves Bush, 22, will not face court-martial charges, the academy said.

The three had been charged with sexually assaulting the midshipman in April 2012 at an alcohol-fueled off-campus party in Annapolis, Maryland, site of the elite school.

The woman, now a senior, faced dozens of hours of questioning and answered many graphic questions during an eight-day Article 32 hearing, held to determine whether a court-martial was warranted.

The woman testified that she had blacked out from drinking when the alleged assault took place.

The allegations were among the latest in a spate of high-profile military sexual assault cases, some involving personnel whose job it was to prevent sexual abuse.

A study released in May by the Defense Department estimated that reports of unwanted sexual contact in the military, from groping to rape, rose to about 26,000 cases last year from 19,000 in 2011.

Graham’s lawyer, Chip Herrington, said Miller had given in to public pressure and rejected recommendations from the Article 32 hearing, which concluded last month after often-conflicting testimony.

“The bottom line is Eric Graham is not guilty, and the allegations of sex abuse against him are completely false,” Herrington said.

The female midshipman’s attorney, Susan Burke, declined to comment. Reuters does not generally report the names of sexual assault victims.

Commander Robert Monahan, who presided over the Article 32 hearing, recommended in a 174-page report that all three cases be dismissed due to a lack of credible evidence, according to sources close to the case who requested anonymity.

Herrington said defense lawyers had not learned when and where the trials will take place.

Disclosure of the alleged incident came a week after President Barack Obama, in a May 24 speech at the Naval Academy, urged graduates to stamp out sexual assault from their ranks.

Bush’s May graduation was put on hold pending the outcome of the case.

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Newest java joint in bastion of hipness is…

Little may represent the change the neighborhood is undergoing right now like the arrival of the first Starbucks. The chain which is ubiquitous in Manhattan, opened a Williamsburg store at…

National

Black and white are the new orange at…

By Brendan O'Brien(Reuters) - Black and white are the new orange in a Michigan county where the sheriff has made a wardrobe change for jail…

National

Traps set after reports of giant snake on…

New Jersey animal control workers have set traps to snare a reported 20-foot-long serpent slithering through the waters of Lake Hopatcong.

Local

NYPD: Stroller carrying 2-year-old rolls onto Queens subway…

A 2-year-old girl in a stroller rolled onto subway tracks in Queens on Monday morning, police said.

Entertainment

‘The Leftovers’ recap: Season 1, Episode 4, ‘B.J.…

Last week’s episode of “The Leftovers” was apparently a fluke, because this week’s episode returns to focusing on the Garveys and it is so boring.…

Movies

Interview: Luc Besson says 'Lucy' is very different…

Filmmaker Luc Besson talks about his new film "Lucy," how it's different than "Limitless" and his crazy first conversation with Egyptian actor Amr Waked.

Music

Weezer releases first new song since 2010

Weezer releases "Back to the Shack," their first new song in almost six years.

Movies

Benedict Cumberbatch plays a different kind of genius…

The man known worldwide for his portrayal of London's eccentric private detective Sherlock Holmes is trading his Belstaff coat for tweed this fall. Benedict Cumberbatch…

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

MLB

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according…

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according to report

NFL

Giants lineman Chris Snee to retire: Reports

The Giants report to training camp on Tuesday, but Chris Snee may not be there when they do.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony talks about his charity work in…

As he is used to doing every year, NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony is going to visit Puerto Rico to do work for his foundation.

Tech

RocketSkates let users roll with a motor

Los Angeles company Acton has raised funds on Kickstarter to roll out a nifty alternative – motor-powered "RocketSkates."

Tech

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony becomes a tech entrepreneur

He's been an All-Star, an Olympian, and a celebrity spokesperson. Now NBA player Carmelo Anthony is adding the position "tech entrepreneur" to his resume. Along…

Tech

Ulises 1 is the world's first singing satellite

A group of artists and engineers in Mexico have unveiled Ulises 1, the world's first opera-singing satellite.

Home

Wallscape on a budget

Skip the wallpaper and ombre an accent wall instead.