A military judge has ordered CNN and CBS to turn over unaired footage of interviews with a Naval Academy midshipman who was the alleged victim of sexual assault at an off-campus party in 2012.
Marine Corps Col. Daniel J. Daugherty ordered the TV networks on Wednesday to provide a portion of footage that he deemed was not duplicative of other interviews and testimony from the female midshipman. The footage is sought by attorneys for Midshipman Joshua Tate of Nashville, who is facing a March court-martial on charges of aggravated sexual assault and making a false statement.
Charges were dropped against two other midshipmen who were initially accused; one has since graduated and been commissioned as a Navy officer, the other is expected to testify at Tate's court-martial.
Interviews with both networks were recorded in 2013, before criminal cases were initiated against the three midshipmen, all former members of the Navy football team. CBS aired about 5 minutes of a 45-minute interview with the alleged victim. CNN aired 11 minutes from about 55 minutes' worth of interviews.
In his order, Daugherty wrote that the alleged victim has ackowledged that she is the person in the interviews, even though her identity in the footage was obscured. He also wrote that the footage is relevant in legal arguments about the alleged victim's memories of the night in question and about her credibility and the consistency of her statements over time.
Jason Ehrenberg, Tate's lead civilian attorney, said he expects the networks to appeal to the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals. The judge gave the networks 72 hours to appeal.
"I get the sense that the networks will appeal and we probably won't be getting our hands on anything in the near future," Ehrenberg said.
CBS News spokeswoman Sonya McNair said the network is considering an appeal.
CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday evening. An attorney for the alleged victim declined to comment.
As Tate's court-martial approaches, the Naval Academy's superintendent, Vice Adm. Michael H. Miller, is expected to testify Friday in a pretrial hearing on how he decided whether to prosecute the three accused midshipmen.
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