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Report names football players accused in academy assault case

Jun. 21, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
From left, Tra'ves Bush, Eric Graham and Josh Tate are reportedly the three men facing charges involving an alleged sexual assault at the Naval Academy's 'football house' last year.
From left, Tra'ves Bush, Eric Graham and Josh Tate are reportedly the three men facing charges involving an alleged sexual assault at the Naval Academy's 'football house' last year. (Navy)
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Three male midshipmen accused of sexually assaulting a female mid while she was blacked out have been identified.

The (Annapolis, Md.) Capital identified the three men Friday as Josh Tate, Tra’ves Bush and Eric Graham. The men were charged with “rape, sexual assault and other sexual misconduct,” a Naval Academy release said, as well making false official statements.

All three men have appeared on the Navy football roster. Bush started every game at safety in 2012, his senior season, and was second on the team in tackles. His graduation has been put on hold, the Capital reported.

Tate, a rising junior linebacker, played in every game last year. Graham, a rising senior safety, did not see varsity action his first three years and was not on the roster entering 2013, according to the official Navy athletics website.

The academy would only confirm that one of the accused is a current member of the Navy football team, and has been suspended. Tate is the only mid named in the report who is listed on the current football roster.

The academy announced earlier this week that the case will proceed to an Article 32 hearing at the Washington Navy Yard. Navy officials are not releasing the names, nor confirming them, until the preliminary hearing. The release did not include a hearing date.

The female mid alleges she went to an off-campus party at the “football house” in April 2012 and became so intoxicated that she blacked out, said her attorney, Susan Burke.

“She learned from friends and social media that three football players were claiming to have had sexual intercourse with her while she was incapacitated,” Burke said in a statement.

After reporting the alleged incident to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the alleged victim was disciplined for drinking, but the three men faced no consequences and the investigation was closed, Burke said. Burke alleged one of the accused men told the victim not to cooperate with NCIS and that the academy closed the investigation in 2012, citing the victim’s unwillingness to cooperate as the reason.

The alleged victim reached out to Burke in early 2013 for help pursuing the case and the academy reopened the investigation, Burke said.

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