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Navy assault suspects identified

The SportsXchange

Three Navy football players accused of sexually assaulting a female mid while she was blacked out were identified.

The (Annapolis, Md.) Capital reported Friday that the three midshipmen are Josh Tate, Tra'ves Bush and Eric Graham.

They were charged with rape, sexual assault, other sexual misconduct and making false official statements, according to a Naval Academy press release.

Bush started at safety last season as a senior and was second on the team in tackles. The Capital reported that his graduation is put on hold.

Bush's grandfather, Jackson Bush, told USA Today that his grandson had an appointment with an attorney Friday and that he had a previous relationship with the alleged victim.

"He knew the girl, but he didn't know that anything like that had taken place," Jackson Bush said of the rape allegations stemming from the April 2012 incident that occurred at a house off-campus.

Graham, a senior safety, has not appeared in a game and was not on this season's roster, according to the Navy athletics website.

Tate, a junior linebacker, played in every game in 2012. He is the only player named in the report who is on the roster. The academy would only confirm that one of the accused is a current member of the team.

Navy officials will not release the names until a preliminary hearing at the Washington Navy Yard takes place. The academy announced early this week that the case would proceed to an Article 32 hearing but did not release a date.

The alleged victim claimed that she went to an off-campus party at the "football house" in April 2012 and blacked out after becoming intoxicated, according to 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 the alleged victim reported the incident, she was disciplined for drinking, the three men were not punished and the case was closed, according to Burke. She also said one of the men told the alleged victim not to cooperate with NCIS.

The case reopened after Burke was contacted by the alleged victim.
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