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Women's Rugby Team Accused of Waterboarding New Players in Hazing Ritual

Authorities in Vermont have launched an investigation into hazing allegations against the women's rugby team at Norwich University, a private military school.

Northfield Officer Karie Tucker said the investigation began in March when deputies responded to a report of somebody being held at knifepoint. The victim told officers that she had been branded using pliers and a lighter by members of the rugby team while she was drunk.

She told investigators that she would not have allowed them to brand her had she been sober. The woman also showed Tucker a video on her phone showing another member of the team being waterboarded.

Northfield Police Chief John Helfant said the school is not allowing officers access to the dorm room of the accused students. Instead, investigators are meeting with the students in conference rooms on the school's campus.

The school claimed that it is fully cooperating with the investigation.

"Norwich University is subject to federal student privacy laws and other restrictions on what it may disclose," Daphne Larkin said in a statement to the Barre Montpelier Times Argus. "Sometimes, law enforcement officials become confused about the extent to which we may respond to their requests. Norwich University has fully cooperated with the Northfield Police Department in their investigation of the allegations surrounding this incident while ensuring the constitutional rights of our students and employees."

Washington County State's Attorney Rory Thibault pushed back, telling the VT Digger that the school has been hampering the investigation.

"I don't think they have been particularly helpful to the law enforcement investigation," Thibault said, "but to say that they're not cooperative, I think, would carry the wrong connotation because they're electing to be more guarded or restrictive in terms of information they are willing to share."

No charges have been filed against any students, and the investigation is ongoing.

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