3 football players charged in Naval Academy rape case

ANNAPOLIS, Md. The U.S. Naval Academy has announced charges against three football players accused of sexually assaulting a female midshipman.

The academy said Wednesday the students have been charged with making a false official statement as well as rape, sexual assault or other sexual misconduct.

Cmdr. John Schofield says the case is still in the pre-trial phase and declined further comment.

Earlier this week, the academy announced that the superintendent decided Article 32 proceedings should be held in the case. They are held to determine if there is evidence to hold a court-martial.

Meanwhile, Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski on Wednesday made public a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel calling to increase oversight and accountability of military service academy superintendents in response to increasing rates of sexual assaults.

The woman says the assault took place at an off-campus house in Annapolis last year. In an interview with CBS correspondent Jeff Glor, she she woke up with bruises after a night of heavy drinking and later learned from friends and social media that three football players -- whom she considered friends -- were claiming to have had sex with her while she was blacked out.

"The attackers had bragged about it. They had told me to my face -- what they did," she said on "CBS This Morning," her face hidden to protect her anonymity.

After reporting the incident, the student said she felt ostracized from her fellow shipmates and made to believe it was her fault. She described a particularly difficult moment during one of the academy's routine sexual assault briefings, where she felt all eyes were focused on her.

"It was really upsetting," the woman said. "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. And she had come at the stall and she was like, 'You know, you can come out.' And she just hugged me. And we just hugged each other. And I don't know her name to this day. I didn't know her prior to that. But-- unfortunately, we shared that same experience. And it just brought the whole situation to reality that there is a much bigger problem than just this one circumstance that had happened."

An attorney for the women, Susan Burke, said in a statement Wednesday that "my client and I are cautiously optimistic that justice will finally prevail in this case." Burke added that even though the case is successfully prosecuted, widespread sexual assault in the military and how it is handled by authorities remains troubling.

President Barack Obama talked about the sexual assault problem when he spoke at the academy's commissioning ceremony last month. The president said those who commit sexual assault threaten the trust and discipline that makes the military strong.

Other Navy football players have faced assault allegations in the past.

In 2006, Lamar Owens Jr., the team's starting quarterback, was acquitted of rape but found guilty of lesser charges. He was expelled from the school. Another one-time member of the team, Kenny Ray Morrison, was convicted in 2007 of sexually assaulting a female classmate at a Washington hotel. He was sentenced to two years in the Navy brig.

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