CRIME

Naval Academy football sexual assault victim speaks out

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Over a year has passed, and the female Naval Academy student who has accused three Navy football players of raping her is speaking out.

The student recently sat down with WJZ-TV in Baltimore for an exclusive interview, more than a year after the April 2012 incident where she says she was assaulted.

"I was drinking. I drank a lot," the victim told WJZ. "I don't really remember what happened. I woke up the next morning with bruises."

The third-year midshipman claims she found out on social media that three fellow Mids, all football players, raped her while she was passed out. They apparently took to social media to brag about the incident.

"I have outside witnesses," the victim told WJZ. "The attackers had bragged about it. They had told me to my face what they did."

The student reported the attack to authorities, but stopped cooperating with investigators until this past February.

The investigation was relaunched when she reapproached school administrators, and now the admiral in charge of the Academy is ordering the alleged attackers be charged and taken before an Article 32 hearing.

This process is similar to a criminal grand jury, and could lead to a court  marshal for the suspects.

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., calls it "the right decision."

"This kind of conduct will not be tolerated in our military," he said.

The victim told WJZ-TV that she has been "shunned and harassed" at the academy since coming forward, but she's not letting that stop her.

The academy has not yet released the names of the accused. We do know that one of the three, considered the main perpetrator, was prevented from graduating last month as the investigation continued.

Kayla Brandon and Justin Karp contributed to this report.

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