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Midshipman’s assault case survives defense challenge

WASHINGTON — A military judge is keeping the sexual assault case against a former Naval Academy football player alive following a motion by his lawyers that could have ended the trial.

After prosecutors finished their case Wednesday against Joshua Tate of Nashville, Tenn., Tate’s lawyers asked the judge to find their client not guilty.

Tate’s lawyers argued prosecutors didn’t put forward evidence needed to support a conviction. The judge denied the motion and allowed the case to continue. Closing arguments are expected Thursday.

Tate is accused of sexually assaulting a classmate at an off-campus party in 2012. Prosecutors argue the woman was too drunk to consent to sex after drinking heavily. Tate’s attorneys disagree.

The woman testified she does not recall having sex with Tate, but he later told her they had.