Reporting Mary Bubala
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—The victim in a sexual assault investigation at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis is speaking out.
Mary Bubala reports she and her mother are taking their story public, hoping to pressure the military to make changes.
They asked that their faces be concealed.
In an exclusive interview with CBS News, the 20-year-old Navy Midshipman says she was attacked at an off-campus party last April.
“I was drinking. I drank a lot. And then– from that point on, I really don’t remember what happened. I woke up the next morning with bruises and I knew somethin’ wasn’t right,” she said.
The Midshipman says she found out what happened on social media.
“They’re tellin’ me I had sexual interactions with people that I was completely unaware of,” she said.
She says she knows the three Naval Academy students–all football players, who stand accused of raping her.
“I have outside witnesses. The attackers had bragged about it. They had told me to my face what they did,” she said.
She went to see a doctor at the Naval Academy and was offered a rape kit, but refused. She says she was in denial.
She didn’t report the incident for months and delayed telling her mom.
“’After the international ball, I had been raped.’” and I just– I mean, what do you say? I just told her, ‘I’m so sorry,’” the victim’s mother said.
The student says she is being made to believe it was her fault.
The turning point, she says, came during one of the academy’s routine sexual assault briefings, where she felt all eyes on her.
“I went to the bathroom. I just sat in the stall and cried. And it just so happened that there was another girl sitting right next to me and she was crying too,” she said.
“Unfortunately, we shared that same experience,” she continued.”There is a much bigger problem.”
The mother and daughter are now speaking out. They say the academy has not taken the situation seriously, and they worry about retaliation.
“You know, I received a lotta hostility, not even from the attackers, but from their teammates,” the victim said.
The Naval Academy says it could not speak about her concerns because this is an ongoing investigation.
The student says she has no plans to leave school. She says she doesn’t want this horrible incident to define her.
The Naval Academy also told us in a statement that sexual assault is a crime and has no place at the U.S. Naval Academy, just as it has no place in the rest of the military.