WASHINGTON - 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 deciding and wasn't pressured by superiors.