On Monday, June 3, 2024, the Capital Gazette reported that prosecutors filed a motion requesting a new judge in the upcoming retrial of former Naval Academy midshipman Garrett Lee Holsen.

Holsen previously stood trial in September 2022 for charges related to an alleged sexual assault of another midshipman after an off-campus party in 2021. He was acquitted of second-degree rape by the jury, but prosecutors appealed the verdict, arguing that the presiding judge’s instructions were incorrect. In December, an appeals court agreed and ordered a new trial on the assault and other sex offense charges.

Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess filed the motion, saying Anne Arundel Circuit Court Judge Robert Thompson should be removed from the case due to his “improper handling” of the original proceedings. Leitess signed on as the attorney for the prosecution in Holsen’s retrial.

Defense attorney Peter O’Neill opposed the motion, emphasizing that his client has already been acquitted of rape and the remaining charges should be dropped under double jeopardy protections. However, prosecutors argued that the assault charge involves a different legal definition of consent that was not properly presented to the jury in 2022.

At a hearing, Leitess asked the court to delay setting a new trial date until the judge assignment issue was resolved. She said it would be unfair to the prosecution and the alleged victim for Thompson to remain on the case. O’Neill questioned the need to postpone dismissing the sex offense charge, as prosecutors acknowledged that the charge could no longer be pursued.

A Wisconsin native, Holsen was a member of the Naval Academy Class of 2024 but did not participate in graduation last month due to the ongoing legal proceedings. He has not yet received orders for his military assignment. The hearing is scheduled for June 18 before Judge Thompson to further address the prosecution’s motion.



Source: Capital Gazette