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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Newly crowned Miss USA Nia Sanchez is a fourth-degree black belt in taekwondo and says women should be able to defend themselves as a way to battle the problem of campus rape.

The 24-year-old from Las Vegas says bringing awareness to the issue is very important.

Check out photos from the pageant:

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Sanchez beat out 50 other contestants from all the states and the District of Columbia on Sunday night for the title of 63rd Miss USA. First runner-up was Miss North Dakota Audra Mari. Sanchez will go on to represent the U.S. at the Miss Universe competition later this year.

Sanchez also said she was "so proud to bring the title of Miss USA back to Nevada."

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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