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Mid acquitted in court-martial leaving academy

Mar. 20, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
Midshipman 2nd Class Joshua Tate, 21, who was found not guilty of sexual assault earlier Thursday at court-martial, plans to leave the Naval Academy, a school spokesman said.
Midshipman 2nd Class Joshua Tate, 21, who was found not guilty of sexual assault earlier Thursday at court-martial, plans to leave the Naval Academy, a school spokesman said. (Naval Academy via The Associated Press)
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The former Naval Academy football player acquitted Thursday of sexual assault against a female midshipman will withdraw from the school, an academy spokesman told Navy Times.

The judge, Marine Col. Daniel Daugherty, found Midshipman 2nd Class Joshua Tate not guilty of a sexual assault stemming from a 2012 off-campus party at a house rented for the football team in Annapolis, Md.

However, the academy had the option to press three charges of false official statements against Tate, which are violations of Article 107 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

“The Naval Academy agreed to accept Midshipman Tate’s resignation from USNA in exchange for withdrawing the 107 charge,” said academy spokesman Cmdr. John Schofield. “By resigning, Midshipman Tate has agreed to accept the most serious form of punishment a midshipman can receive through the conduct system — a dismissal from the Naval Academy.”

More than a dozen witnesses testified at Tate’s three-day court-martial, which rested on whether the accuser was too drunk to consent to sex with Tate at the “Togas and Yogas” party in April 2012. She testified that she did not remember the encounter.

Two other mids were implicated in the Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigation into the incident. But now-Ensign Trav’es Bush was not referred to court-martial following a September Article 32 hearing. Former Midshipman 1st Class Eric Graham’s charges were dropped in January after it came to light that he had not been read his rights before giving a statement admitting to having sex with the accuser at the party, the only evidence linking him to an assault.

Graham and Tate are both in the process of dis-enrolling from the academy. They were both charged with making a false statement.

Both also signed a five-year commitment to the Navy upon entering their junior year, which could require them to pay back part of the cost of their education or serve in the fleet as enlisted sailors to work it off.

However, as the false statements occurred before Graham and Tate signed their commitments, that decision is now up to Juan Garcia, the assistant secretary of the Navy for manpower and reserve affairs.

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