Criminal Justice

Navy prosecutors drop sex crime charges against midshipman who was not read Miranda rights

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Abusive sexual contact charges against a former U.S. Naval Academy athlete were dropped today, Reuters reports. He was one of three midshipmen charged.

Naval investigators reportedly did not read Eric Graham his Miranda rights, and a military judge excluded his statements as evidence. Cmdr. John Schofield, a spokesman for the Academy, said that was a “major determining factor” to drop the case.

Graham, 23, was one of three Naval Academy football players charged with sexually assaulting a female midshipman. The charges focused on a 2012 off-campus party. The midshipman later testified that she drank a lot at the party, and had very little memory of what happened.

Charges against Tra’ves Bush were dropped in 2013. The third man, Joshua Tate, is scheduled for a court hearing in February.

Ryan Guilds represents the female midshipman.

“We understand that at the end of the day, this is technicality,” he said. “Mr. Graham was lucky enough to not have investigators read him his Miranda rights.”

According to the article, the Defense Department in December stated that between 2012 and 2013, sexual assaults in the U.S. military increased by 50 percent. That same month, President Barack Obama signed into law a bill that focused on eliminating sexual assault in the military, including removing power from commanders to overturn court-martial sentences.

See also:

ABA Journal: “Military lawyers confront changes as sexual assault becomes big news”

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