A lawyer for a Naval Academy midshipman who is the alleged victim of a sexual assault by two fellow classmates is seeking court documents from the academy's superintendent.
Attorney Ryan Guilds is seeking all of the motions in the cases against the classmates who are accused in the alleged asault, as well as the transcript of the eight-day preliminary hearing and the report of a military judge who reviewed the case and made recommendations to the superintendent, Vice Adm. Michael H. Miller.
Guilds said he previously was denied the documents by military prosecutors and the military court, so now he is turning to Miller, who made the final decision to prosecute two of the three former football players accused of assaulting the woman at an off-campus party in April 2012. Guilds made his request to the superintendent in a letter Tuesday.
"The Naval Academy has received the request and we will make a decision on the request in a timely manner," said Cmdr. John Schofield, a Naval Academy spokesman.
In an interview, Guilds said he needs the documents in order to do an effective job representing the woman as the two trials approach.
"I'm handicapped in my ability to represent a victim in military proceedings that I wouldn't be in a civilian court," said Guild, who is based in Washington with the firm Arnold & Porter.
After a preliminary hearing called an Article 32 hearing in August and September, a military judge called an investigating officer sent a lengthy report on the cases to Miller. The report has not been made public, but defense attorneys have said the investigating officer, Cmdr. Robert P. Monahan Jr., recommended that none of the three accused midshipmen should be tried at a court-martial.
Miller declined to prosecute Midshipmen Tra'ves Bush, who later graduated and was commissioned as a Navy officer.
Miller referred Midshipman Eric Graham and Midshipman Joshua Tate to court-martial. Graham, a senior, is charged with abusive sexual contact. Tate, a junior, is charged with aggravated sexual assault. Both are charged with making false official statements. The courts-martial will be held in early 2014.
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