WASHINGTON (AP) — A hearing has begun to determine whether three former U.S. Naval Academy football players will face a court-martial on charges that they sexually assaulted a female midshipman.

Midshipmen Tra'ves Bush, Eric Graham and Josh Tate appeared Monday at an Article 32 hearing at the Washington Navy Yard. The hearing resembles a civilian grand jury hearing.

The former football players are accused of making false statements and sexually assaulting the woman at a house in Annapolis, Md., in 2012.

Lt. Cmdr. Angela Tang, an attorney for Graham, noted the case's high profile in the debate over military sexual misconduct and asked if media reports could have influenced the investigating officer's opinion.

Cmdr. Robert Monahan Jr., the investigating officer, says he will treat this case as he treats any case, relying on his legal experience.

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