A private military school’s woman’s rugby team is facing an investigation after reports surfaced that players on the squad were branded and waterboarded in March.

Northfield, Vermont police brought search warrants to a residence hall at Norwich University, the oldest private and senior military college in the United States.

Officer Karie Tucker said in her affidavit that police arrived at the university after being told someone was being held at knifepoint, the Barre Montpelier Times Argus reported. The police found an intoxicated member of the team inside Dodge Hall, along with her cellphone and a knife.

“Tucker said the victim reported she had been ‘branded’ using pliers and a lighter by other members of the rugby team,” the Times Argus stated. “The officer said the victim reported she was too intoxicated to say no and would not have agreed to be branded had she been sober. Tucker said the victim gave the officer consent to look at the victim’s cellphone. The officer said she observed a Snapchat video from the phone where the victim was holding a chair down and a second, unidentified girl sat in the chair with a washcloth, or something similar, held over her face while a third girl poured liquid onto the cloth.”

Court records state that Tucker said she saw what she “would call waterboarding.”

Northfield Police Chief John Helfant confirmed the police showing up on campus was related to the claims involving “branding and waterboarding of and by NU students,” adding that the police were permitted by the school if Norwich security was present to talk to students in their dorm rooms about criminal investigations. He asserted, “This has been the established past practice and was indeed permitted on Tuesday of last week. That access was then denied for this investigation as of Friday of last week. NU was only willing to have students come away from their residences and meet us at a conference room. There are a host of issues which this presents for law enforcement.”

“Emails obtained by The Times Argus through a public records request show the school, on advice from legal counsel, has decided it will not provide body camera footage, or other investigative materials, from its security personnel to law enforcement without a subpoena,” the Times Argus reported.

“Norwich University is subject to federal student privacy laws and other restrictions on what it may disclose,” Daphne Larkin, director of media relations and community affairs at Norwich, said Friday, “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.”

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