Transcript for Air Force Academy and Sexual Assault
Now to an ABC news investigation. One of the biggest rivalries in college spots, army versus air force. But tonight, another showdown, already quietly under way. A young woman with a startling accusation about sexual assault at the elite academy. ABC's Brian Ross tonight with that young woman coming forward and the frank response from the air force academy. Reporter: When the air force team takes the field against army at west point this Saturday, one of its players will be a cadet accused of sexual assault. And this is his accuser, Alexis Jones hardy, a former cadet who says the assault changed her life forever. Honestly, I gave up on life. There were times I didn't want to be alive. Reporter: She reported the assault, but says she was too scared to name her attacker because, she says, the academy protects football players and punishes the women who come forward. I saw the academy as a whole judge them. Everyone they'd ever slept with, how many people they'd slept with. Reporter: For years, air force investigators say there's been a culture or code of silence surrounding sexual violence and the academy football team. Until this cadet, Eric Thomas, a member of the football team, agreed to work as a confidential informant, providing information on alleged sexual assaults. Anybody who is willing to rape another individual is really no friend of mine. Reporter: His information helped lead to court martials of two football players for sexual assault and the dismissals or resignations of more than a dozen other cadets for misconduct. Expose what the new academy superintendent admits is a serious problem. There's no denial of what happened here? No. Reporter: It was bad? Yes. Reporter: And it's not just a problem with the air force football team. In fact, one of the court martialed academy football players, jail cooks, number 37, is now on the field for another college, Alcorn state in Mississippi. A rising football star, even though he is also a registered sex offender. Cooks says he is appealing his conviction. As for Eric Thomas, he was kicked out of the academy himself. He says it was retaliation, but the air force inspector general sails his dismissal was entirely proper, David. Brian Ross with us tonight. Brian, thank you.
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