Former Navy Football Player Found Not Guilty of Alleged Rape

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IMarch 20, 2014

A sign stands outside of an entrance to the U.S. Naval Academy campus in Annapolis, Md., Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. A culture of bad behavior and disrespect among athletes at U.S. military academies is one part of the continuing problem of sexual assaults at the schools, according to a new Defense Department report that comes in the wake of scandals that rocked teams at all three academies last year. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

Former Navy football player Joshua Tate was found not guilty of a sexual assault charge by a military judge, according to the Associated Press via the Capital Gazette.

According the report, Tate, who chose to face a judge rather than a military jury, was acquitted of "one count of aggravated sexual assault."

Originally, Tate and two other Navy students had been accused by prosecutors of sexually assaulting a female student following an alleged incident at an off-campus house in Annapolis, Md. Unlike Tate, the other two students were not brought to court-martial.     

The alleged incident occurred in 2012 when the female student, who admits she doesn't remember the incident, said she heard from others at the party that she had had sex with multiple people after a night of "heavy drinking."

In October 2013, Eric Graham was set to be tried on a charge of abusive sexual contact, and the third accused man, Tra'ves Bush, who was charged with aggravated sexual assault, was not sentenced to face court-martial and had his charges dismissed, according to The Washington Post's Annys Shin.

The woman, who has not been identified by media or news outlets, told The Washington Post's Melinda Henneberger last October that she's in "complete and total isolation" on campus as a result of pursuing charges against the three men:

Well, prior to this I was a cheerleader. I don’t want to use the term ‘social butterfly,’ but I used to interact with lots of people. [...]

I thought I was smarter than that [for drinking too much]. Maybe people will learn from my situation, but I don’t talk to enough people to know.

It remains to be seen whether Tate, Graham and Bush will face future charges as a result of the alleged incident, but regardless, the entire situation has cast the Naval Academy and the football program in a negative light. 


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