A Vermont university women’s rugby team is being investigated for hazing after a player on the team was allegedly tagged and drowned in water last month, authorities said.
Police learned of the alleged behavior after responding to Norwich University, a private military school in Northfield, on March 20 to a report of a person being held at knifepoint, according to an affidavit obtained by The Barre Montpelier Times Argus.
Officers found an intoxicated member of the women’s rugby team brandishing a knife. Two days later, the woman spoke to police and shared disturbing allegations of hazing.
She told police she was ‘marked’ with pliers and a lighter by other members of the rugby team while intoxicated.
The woman said she believed team members had broken into her room, so she grabbed the knife and threatened them with it. However, she said she was shaky over the details of what really happened due to her drunkenness.
The victim said she was too drunk to say no and would not have accepted being branded if she had been sober.
With the victim’s permission, police looked into her cellphone and found video of another woman with a washcloth, or something similar, held to her face while a third woman poured liquid on her. the cloth. Police described what they considered to be “waterboarding”, according to court records.
Northfield police last Friday executed search warrants at a university residence hall after the school allegedly refused to cooperate fully with the investigation, The Barre Montpelier Times Argus reported.
Northfield Police Chief John Helfant confirmed in an email on Friday that police activity on campus was linked to the investigation into hazing allegations involving “branding and waterboarding of NU students,” the newspaper reported.
The chief also said university officials were denying police access to students in their dorms and would only allow police to speak to students in a lecture hall.
Helfant said police obtained search warrants for access to two dormitories and for electronic communications. The investigation is ongoing, he said.
A university spokesperson said the school has cooperated fully with the investigation.
“Norwich University is subject to federal student privacy laws and other restrictions on what it can disclose,” Daphne Larkin said in a statement to the newspaper.
“Sometimes law enforcement officials no longer know how well we can meet their demands. Norwich University has cooperated fully with the Northfield Police Department in their investigation of the allegations surrounding this incident while safeguarding the constitutional rights of our students and employees.
With pole wires