Navy football sexual assault hearing begins today

Photo: United States Navy

WASHINGTON (WJLA) -- The hearing was underway at Washington Navy Yard on Tuesday, with charges laid out against three midshipmen: Tra’ves Bush, Eric Graham, and Joshua Tate.

The former Navy football players are accused of sexually assaulting a female midshipman – then making false statements about it to investigators.

In a closed-door session that lasted for hours, defense attorneys argued that the alleged victim’s past should be admissible. In June, their accuser told a Baltimore TV station that she wants justice.

"I'm not going to let this assault define me," she said.

The alleged victim in this case says she was attacked at an off-campus party in April of 2012, while she was passed out from drinking. She says she drank a lot the night of the attack and doesn't remember exactly what happened. However:

"I woke up the next morning with bumps and bruises... I knew something wasn't right," she said.

The victim says she found out about the assault through social media, and now she is determined to get justice. The case has also brought renewed attention to how the nation's military academies handle reports of sexual assault.

"Unfortunately, institutions of power and elite schools like Yale, USC or military academies have tried to sweep things under the rug," said D.C. resident, Melissa Byrne.

"I think if more people are held accountable, more people will come forward," added Mitch McCoy.

The public will be watching closely to see what happens with this particular case.

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