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A former U.S. Naval Academy football player laughed off his suspected sexual assault of a woman midshipman who had passed out at an alcohol-fueled party, a prosecutor said at the start of the man's trial on Tuesday.
Midshipman Joshua Tate from Nashville, Tenn., is the only one to be court-martialed among three Academy football players initially accused of assaulting the woman in April 2012.
Not until the day following that encounter did the woman realize she had been sexually assaulted, Navy prosecutor Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Stormer said.
When the woman confronted Tate about their alleged encounter, "everything to him was a big laughing matter," Stormer said.
"He laughingly told her yes, we did have sex."
Defense attorney Cmdr. Art Record argued the woman, now a senior at the elite service school in Annapolis, Md., initiated sexual contact with Tate, also a senior.
The woman testified at an Article 32 hearing, held to determine whether a trial was warranted, that she drank heavily at the party and remembered little of what took place.
Tate is accused of aggravated sexual assault and making false official statements. He has opted for trial by a judge rather than a jury.
The woman did not cooperate with an initial investigation into the charges and was disciplined for drinking. Charges against the other two men were dropped.