U.S. Naval Academy Head Testifies In D.C.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Naval Academy’s head is rejecting suggestions that political pressure influenced him in pursuing sexual assault charges against a football player at the school.

The school’s superintendent, Vice Adm. Michael Miller, dismissed the suggestions Friday while testifying for more than three hours in a military courtroom in Washington. His appearance was part of a hearing ahead of a scheduled trial for the student, Joshua Tate of Nashville, Tenn.

It was Miller’s decision to move forward with charges against Tate, and the midshipman’s lawyers contend he was influenced by a heightened focus on preventing and responding to sexual assault in the military. Tate’s lawyers want a military judge to dismiss the case based on “unlawful command influence.”

Miller says he had complete freedom in his decisions and wasn’t pressured by superiors.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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