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Two ex-Navy football players to go on trial in rape case

The superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy set aside the recommendation of a military judge Thursday and ordered two former Navy football players to face court-martial in the alleged sexual assault of a female midshipman, attorneys for the accused men said.

Joshua Tate, 21, of Nashville, will be tried on a charge of aggravated sexual assault, and Eric Graham, 21, of Eight Mile, Ala., will be tried on a charge of abusive sexual contact. Both are also charged with making false statements.

A third ex-player, Tra'ves Bush, 22, of Johnston, S.C., who was charged with aggravated sexual assault, will not face court-martial. All charges against him have been dismissed, said his attorney, Andrew Weinstein.

The victim, now a 21-year-old senior, testified that she was drinking heavily that night and could not remember much of what had happened. Prior to the party, she had been friends with Tate and Graham, and involved in an on-again, off-again sexual relationship with Bush.

The superintendent's choice to proceed with a court-martial comes amid intense scrutiny of the military's handling of sexual-assault cases.

Two ex-Navy football players to go on trial in rape case 10/10/13 [Last modified: Thursday, October 10, 2013 10:12pm]
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