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Naval Academy sex-assault accuser seeks break in testimony, citing exhaustion

A Naval Academy midshipman who has been testifying in a military hearing about an alleged sexual assault by three fellow students sought to be excused from the witness stand on Saturday because of exhaustion.

In addition to requesting the weekend to rest, the woman also announced that she was dismissing her military counsel, one half of her legal team.

Saturday's events threatened to delay the proceedings until early next week, since the midshipman’s civilian counsel, Susan Burke, told the court she would be out of town over the weekend, citing a long-standing social obligation.

But after recessing the hearing at noon, the investigating officer said the hearing would resume Sunday morning, telling the alleged victim that Burke would be present and that she should be ready to testify. 

Attorneys for the three co-defendants criticized the moves as delaying tactics.

"This is a manufactured stunt," said Lt. Cmdr. Angela Tang, defense counsel for Midshipman Eric Graham.

The woman has been under cross-examination since Thursday, providing more than 20 hours of testimony. 

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