3 Navy Football Players Charged with Rape

Tim KeeneyContributor IJune 17, 2013

Three football players at the U.S. Naval Academy were charged with sexual assault. 

UPDATE: Friday, June 21, at 10:17 a.m ET by Michael Cahill

According to the Capital Gazette, the names of the three players charged with sexual assault have been announced. 

From the Gazette: 

Multiple sources have confirmed to The Capital that the three Navy football players are rising junior linebacker Josh Tate and former safeties Tra'ves Bush and Eric Graham.


---End of Update---

UPDATE: Wednesday, June 19, at 6:50 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford

According to Associated Press reporter Brian Witte (via abcnews.com), the U.S. Naval Academy has charged the three players:

The U.S. Naval Academy on Wednesday charged three Navy football players with sexually assaulting a female midshipman at an off-campus house more than a year ago.

The academy said in a news release that the male midshipmen are being charged with rape, sexual assault or other sexual misconduct, and making a false official statement.

The three students were not identified in the academy's statement. Two of the students were football players this past season, but they are not on the team anymore. Another is still on the team, but he has been suspended pending the outcome of the case. It was not immediately clear if the three have an attorney.


---End of update---

The news comes from Michael Hoffman of Military.com: "Officials at the U.S. Naval Academy will charge three football players following the completion of an investigation after a female midshipman reported she was sexually assaulted by the three players in 2012."

The three players have not been named because the Navy has yet to complete an official charge sheet. According to Hoffman's report, Superintendent Michael Miller intends to send the case to "Article 32 proceedings." 

According to Naval Academy spokesman Cmdr. John Schofield, per Hoffman's report, that's important because it means the players are required to be charged. 

Currently, all three players still remain at the Naval Academy. Two are in school, while the other wasn't allowed to graduate on May 24 because of the ongoing investigation. 

According to the report, an unnamed female Naval Academy student attended an off-campus party at the "football house" in April 2012. 

Here is the account of what happened: "The midshipman woke up at the football house the next morning 'with little recall of what had occurred.' She later found out through friends and social media that three football players had 'sexual intercourse with her while she was incapacitated.'"

Per the report, the female said she was intoxicated and didn't remember much from the night, which led to the start of the investigation. While the investigation was underway, the accused were allowed to play during the 2012 football season. 

The investigation closed in November with no charges filed. One of the players had issued an admission, and there was reportedly other incriminating evidence on social-media sites. 

It was reopened in February when the victim's lawyer, Susan Burke, suggested she take the case to Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). When NCIS completed the investigation, it was sent to Superintendent Miller for review.