Off-campus house midshipmen used is a nuisance, neighbors say

Sept. 5, 2013 at 10:56 AM
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ANNAPOLIS, Md., Sept. 5 (UPI) -- The house where three former Naval Academy football players allegedly raped a midshipman was a nuisance in an otherwise quiet neighborhood, neighbors said.

One neighbor, Bethany Swain, said the midshipmen who rented the house -- and violated academy regulations in doing so -- regularly had visitors and "a lot of cars" showed up during weekends, The (Baltimore) Sun reported Thursday.

"My husband actually went out [once] and said if he saw any of them driving, he would call the cops; there were people who were obviously intoxicated," Swain told the newspaper.

The aftermath of a "yogas and togas" party at the house in suburban Annapolis, Md., in 2012 was the focus of an eight-day hearing that ended Tuesday. A female midshipman who said she drank too much to remember events has accused the ex-football players of sexually assaulting her while at the party.

An investigating officer is deciding whether to recommend that Tra'ves Bush, Joshua Tate and Eric Graham should face a court-martial, be punished administratively or drop the charges. All three have denied wrongdoing.

Academy officials told the Sun that renting the house, about 6 miles off campus, violated rules requiring all 4,500 midshipmen to live in Bancroft Hall. Families of midshipmen and local sponsor families are not allowed to rent houses for students, officials said.

Naval Academy spokesman Cmdr. John Schofield could not say if any midshipmen were disciplined because of the house, once academy officials learned of it after the 2012 party.

But Jabaree Tuani, a defensive end and co-captain for the football team, told The Sun in 2012 he was among four midshipmen punished for renting the so-called "football house."

"We knew what we were getting ourselves into, and we knew we were putting ourselves at risk," Tuani said. "We didn't think anything like this was going to happen. We thought it was going to be a low-key, under-the-radar type deal where we could just relax."

Tuani said he was restricted to academy grounds for 45 days, marching in full uniform several days a week and spending three weeks with the fleet in summer of 2012.

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