In the prosecution’s closing statement, Lt. Cmdr. Phil Hamon said that all three accused men had admitted to investigators or to the accuser that they had sex with her that night.
Hamon cited defendant Tra’ves Bush’s admission to investigators that he had sex with the accuser at the party. Bush’s co-defendant Joshua Tate also made statements to the woman in the days and months after the alleged incident about having had sex with her, Hamon said. And investigators testified that defendant Eric Graham told them that the accuser performed oral sex on him.
But Hamon acknowledged that the case hinges on how intoxicated the woman was, whether she was too drunk to consent and whether the accused knew it.
To bolster the prosecution’s case, Hamon cited witnesses who testified that the accuser slurred her words and fell down. And one defendant, Graham, told investigators that he could tell the alleged victim had been drinking because her eyes were “glossy” and she smelled of alcohol.
Graham, 21, of Eight Mile, Ala., is charged with abusive sexual contact. Bush, 22, of Johnston, S.C., and Tate, 21, of Nashville, are charged with aggravated sexual assault. All three midshipmen were also charged with making false statements. They have denied any wrongdoing.
But the defense cited other witnesses who testified that the alleged victim was coherent and not incapacitated.
Defense attorneys also focused their closing statements on discrepancies in the accounts the woman gave investigators about that night and argued that any sex that may have occurred was consensual.
“Virtually everything that came out of her mouth was a lie,” said Andrew Weinstein, an attorney for Bush.
He said that because the alleged victim did not remember what happened does not mean she did not consent. He said she was acting flirtatiously.
A friend of the accuser testified Monday that the woman had told her that any sex with Bush was probably consensual. The woman has said previously in the hearing that she and Bush had a prior sexual relationship.
The Washington Post generally does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault.
Earlier Tuesday, Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent Michelle Robinson, who testified at the hearing via video from Bahrain, said she interviewed the female midshipman several times and was aware the woman was not being entirely forthcoming. The alleged victim has said she withheld information at first because she wanted the case to go away.