Attorneys Wrap Up Naval Academy Sexual Assault Hearing
WASHINGTON (WJZ) — The hearing of three midshipmen accused of sexually assaulting a classmate is coming to a close. Now the case is sparking outrage with one women’s group over the line of questioning the victim faced.
Meghan McCorkell has more on the controversy.
This all took place at an Article 32 hearing, where a judge will recommend whether those players will face charges.
It was at an off-campus party where three Navy football players are accused of sexually assaulting a female midshipman.
“I was drinking. I drank a lot and from that point on, I really don’t remember what happened,” the victim told CBS News.
She says she found out what happened to her from friends and social media.
Over the past eight days, she’s spent more than 24 hours on the witness stand, fielding questions about the clothing she was wearing that night, her sexual history and even her sexual technique–questions one advocacy group call “unjust” and “outrageous.”
“This is not something that’s helping get at the truth. This is something to intimidate witnesses,” said Lisae Jordan with the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
She fears this case could send a message to other victims.
“After seeing what this survivor is going through, why would anyone come forward?” Jordan said.
A Pentagon survey revealed as many as 26,000 servicemembers were the victims of unwanted sexual contact last year. Only 3,300 incidents were reported.
Defense attorney Joe Owens says that’s why this case has gotten this far.
“The military takes cases all the time that the civilians would not touch,” Owens said. “Because the military operates on a level of fear when it comes to sexual assault because of all the bad media they’ve gotten.”
The three football players face court-martial and possible jail time.
After the hearing ends, the judge is expected to make his recommendations within 10 days. Those recommendations will be given to the Academy superintendent, who will decide whether the football players will face court-martial.