Former Navy Player Found Not Guilty of Sexual Assault
A military judge found a formerU.S. Naval Academyfootball player not guilty of a sexual assault charge Thursday at the conclusion of a three-day trial.
The judge,Col. Daniel Daugherty, on Thursday acquittedJoshua Tateof Nashville, Tenn., of one count of aggravated sexual assault.Tatechose to be tried by a judge rather than a military jury. During the trial, prosecutors argued that the womanTatewas accused of assaulting, aNaval Academyclassmate, was too drunk to consent to sexual activity.Tates attorneys disagreed.
More than a dozen witnesses testified atTates trial. That includedTates classmate who testified for more than five hours and said she didnt remember being sexually assaulted after a night of heavy drinking but heard from others she had had sex with multiple partners at the party. She said she confrontedTate, who confirmed theyd had sex.
Prosecutors initially accused not onlyTatebut also two other students, both of them former football players, of sexually assaulting the woman during a 2012 party at an off-campus house in Annapolis, Md., where the school is located.Tatewas the only student ultimately brought to court-martial, the militarys equivalent of a trial.
The head of theNaval Academydecided not to go forward with courts martial for the other two students, Traves Bush of Johnston, S.C., andEric Grahamof Eight Mile, Ala. The military held an Article 32 hearing, which resembles a preliminary hearing in civilian court, in August and September of 2013. Following that hearing, theacademys head, Vice Admiral Michael H. Miller, decided in October not to pursue charges against Bush.
Charges againstGrahamwere dropped in January. Prosecutors had recommended that move after a military judge said statementsGrahammade during an investigation would not be admissible during a military trial.