An April trial date was set yesterday for three Naval Academy football players indicted on charges of raping a female midshipman at an off-campus party in Arnold over the summer.
County Circuit Judge Clayton Greene Jr. met privately with attorneys representing the junior-year midshipmen, Cordrea Brittingham, Arion Keith Williams and Shaka Amin Martin, and scheduled the trial for April 9, the lawyers said.
T. Joseph Touhey, who represents Williams, said the tentative plan is to try the three together before a jury. "But it's still an open issue," he said. "They can still request separate trials."
The trial is expected to last at least two weeks, and subpoenas have been prepared for more than three dozen prosecution witnesses, many of whom were in the house where the party was held.
Police said at least a half-dozen midshipmen attended the party in Arnold at the end of June and that heavy drinking was taking place. At some point, police said, the female midshipman went to a bedroom and was sexually assaulted.
Brittingham of Berlin and Williams of Detroit, both 21, were suspended from the academy football team after being indicted in July. They have denied assaulting the woman. According to the lawyers, the men have said sexual activity with the woman was consensual.
Brittingham was indicted on charges of second-degree rape, attempted second-degree rape, third-degree sex offense and conspiracy to commit second-degree rape.
Williams was indicted on charges of second-degree sex offense, attempted second-degree sex offense, second-degree rape, attempted second-degree rape, third-degree sex offense and conspiracy to commit second-degree rape.
Last month, Martin, also 21, of Danville, Va., was indicted on charges of second-degree rape and assault. He was arrested Oct. 23 and suspended in mid-season after police said a sample of his DNA matched evidence from the scene.
Martin told police he walked into the room during the evening and saw Williams having sex with the female midshipman, according to the arrest report filed in District Court in July. He told police he "immediately closed the door" and left, according to the report.
Williams and Brittingham had been scheduled to go on trial Nov. 9, but the cases were postponed a few days after Martin was indicted.
Pretrial hearings are scheduled for Jan. 3.