Sex assault hearing for 3 Naval Academy football players

4:22 PM, Aug 27, 2013   |    comments
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From left, Tra'ves Bush, Eric Graham and Josh Tate are reportedly the three men facing charges involving an alleged sexual assault at the Naval Academy's 'football house' last year. (Navy)

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- A hearing is underway for three former Naval Academy football players who are accused of sexually assaulting a female cadet.

She is expected to confront her alleged assailants later this evening at the Washington Navy Yard.

The attorneys are arguing over what evidence will be admissible over the next few days. This will be the first time that she has faced these three men in a legal preceding.

Their identities were officially made public for the first time today. Former safeties Travis Bush, Eric Graham and former linebacker Josh Tate; are accused of sexually assaulting a female cadet at an off-campus party in April of last year. They are also charged with making false official statements. If this goes to a court marshall and if they are found guilty, they are facing a combined sentence of more than a hundred years behind bars.

Here's what the accuser told CBS's Jeff Glor back in June.

"I was drinking. I had drank a lot. From that point on I really don't remember what happened. I woke up the next morning with bruises. I knew something wasn't right but I had no recollection *I do not  remember any of the assaults or sexually engaging any of these individuals *There  isn't a moment at school I don't look over my shoulder or are aware of people around me. I received a lot of hostility, not even from the attackers but from their teammates."

The purpose of this hearing is not to determine guilt or innocence. The purpose is to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence to warrant a court-martial. That's the military equivalent of a criminal trial. The Investigating Officer will make that determination at the end of this hearing, likely on Thursday. 

These proceedings are being closely watched to see how the U.S. military policies sexual violence within its ranks.

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