2 midshipmen to face courts-martial despite recommendation sex assault charges be dropped

Two midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy will face court-martial for charges of sexual assault. The accusations stem from an April 2012 incident where a female midshipmen said the former Navy football players had sexual contact with her while she was heavily intoxicated. CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports.

(CBS News) Two former Navy football players will now face courts-marital on sexual assault charges. Midshipman Joshua Tate is accused of aggravated sexual assault; Midshipman Eric Graham of abusive sexual contact.

But not everyone agrees on the decision to prosecute the two men over the alleged April 2012 incident.

Naval Academy student speaks out on alleged rape by three classmates

Vice Adm. Mike Miller, the superintendent of the Naval Academy, ordered the courts-martial, despite a recommendation from the investigating officer that charges be dropped. Jason Ehrenberg, Tate's attorney, said, "There was a nine, basically a nine-day hearing with over 20 witnesses and hundreds of pages of evidence and after hearing all of that, the investigating officer recommended against it going to a court-martial."

A paragraph of the investigator's report provided to CBS News says, "I find that the heavy damage done to (the accuser's) credibility greatly erodes the strength of her testimony about what she remembers/does not remember."

Susan Burke, who represents the accuser, dismissed the report as meaningless. "There's going to be a court-martial. There will be a jury listening to the evidence. There will be a military judge presiding. So the investigating officer report is a dead letter."

The young woman herself told CBS News' Jeff Glor earlier this year she has very little recollection of what happened that night. She said, "I was drinking. I had drank a lot. And then -- from that point on, I really don't remember what happened."

In attacking her credibility, the defense asked humiliating questions about her sex life. Burke said, "The defense attorneys wanted to exhaust and embarrass this young woman to such a degree that she would quit."

The courts-martial are expected to begin later this year, but the investigating officer warned it is unlikely either of the two midshipmen will be convicted.

Watch David Martin's full report above.