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Charges dismissed against midshipman in academy assault case

Jan. 10, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
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Eric Graham
Midshipman 1st Class Eric Graham (AP via Navy)
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A judge dismissed charges against a former Naval Academy football player Friday in a case involving a sexual assault against a female midshipman at an off-campus house party in 2012.

Charges of abusive sexual contact and making a false statement have been dropped against Midshipman 1st Class Eric Graham, who had been scheduled for court-martial later this month.

Naval Academy superintendent Vice Adm. Michael Miller recommended the charges against Graham be dropped after a military judge threw out a statement from Graham saying he had sexual contact with the female midshipman, academy spokesman Cmdr. John Schofield told Navy Times.

“Based on the military judge’s suppression of Graham’s previously made statement in a recent motion hearing, [Region Legal Service Office] and the Naval Academy staff judge advocate determined that reasonable grounds no longer exist to believe Graham committed the offense of sexual assault and recommended dismissal of the charges,” Schofield said in a statement.

Ryan Guilds, a lawyer for the female midshipman, told The Associated Press that the judge decided not to allow Graham’s statement — the only piece of evidence linking him to an assault — because investigators didn’t read Graham his rights.

Two of three midshipmen accused of sexual assault have had their charges dropped. The academy dismissed charges against Tra’ves Bush, who has since graduated, in October following an Article 32 hearing.

A court-martial for Midshipman 1st Class Joshua Tate, who is charged with aggravated sexual assault, is still scheduled for Feb. 10.

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