Vermont police have launched an investigation into allegations of hazing around the women’s rugby team at Norwich State University, including allegations of branding and waterboarding.
Police executed search warrants and went to the apartment building of a private military academy in Northfield to gather evidence, according to Barre Montpelier Times Argus reported.
According to police, Northfield Police Officer Carrie Tucker spoke with the alleged victim, who said she was “sealed” with pliers and a lighter by other members of the rugby team. In Tucker’s testimony, the victim said she was too drunk to refuse and would not have agreed to her stigma if she had been sober.
Tucker also found a Snapchat video on the phone in which the victim was holding a chair, another woman was sitting in a chair with a cloth covered her face, and a third woman was pouring liquid on the cloth.
According to court records, Tucker said she describes what she saw as a “waterboard”.
In a statement to the Times Argus last Friday, Northfield Police Chief John Helfant confirmed that on-campus police activities were linked to allegations of hazing, which included “branding and waterboarding students and OU students.”
He also revealed that school officials denied police access to students in their dormitories and allowed police to only talk to students in the conference room, noting a deviation from a previous verbal agreement that the police station and school had been since Helfant was chief , he said.
And according to emails received by the Times Argus, the school has decided – even before the hacking charges – will not provide police with body recordings and other materials for investigation from security officers without a subpoena.