Filipino woman breaks down at rape trial of Marines
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  1. #1

    Cool Filipino woman breaks down at rape trial of Marines

    Filipino woman breaks down at rape trial of Marines

    A Filipino woman who accuses four U.S. Marines of rape said she was too drunk to remember how she ended up in a van with one of the men on top of her, breaking down three times during her court testimony on Thursday.

    The Marines, being detained by the U.S. embassy in Manila, deny the charges filed in December, saying only one of them had sex with the woman and that it was consensual. One of the sailors has said the woman was being manipulated to incriminate them.

    "I felt someone grab me by the hand. I tried to resist but I can no longer remember what happened," the woman told a packed courtroom, taking the witness stand for the first time since the trial started last month.

    The next thing she remembered was being in a van with a man on top of her, the woman said, identifying him as Lance Corporal Daniel Smith as she broke down for the third time.

    The woman, a management accounting graduate, will continue her testimony on Friday after the judge stopped the hearing for the day.

    "We closed our business for a while just to be with her," the woman's mother told reporters. "We know that today will be a difficult day for her."

    The controversial case has generated intense local media attention and put the spotlight on Manila's close relationship with Washington, with critics arguing that a Visiting Forces Agreement gives U.S. soldiers too much protection.

    But it has prompted only small protests and is not expected to hurt ties between the Philippines and its former colonial ruler.

    Gabriela, a women's group that has provided moral support to the woman throughout the trial, staged a small rally outside the court, carrying placards demanding justice for her.

    Smith, fellow Lance Corporals Dominic Duplantis and Keith Silkwood, and Staff Sergeant Chad Carpentier -- part of a Marine unit based in Japan that had been on two weeks of exercises with Philippine troops -- sat silently through the hearing.

    Prosecution witnesses have told the court they saw a woman drinking with the Marines at a bar on the night of the attack and her being carried outside into a van by one of the sailors.

    Other witnesses said they saw a woman being carried from the van and left on the pavement with her pants around her knees.

    A doctor told the court the woman had bruises on her arms, legs and genital area that were consistent with sexual assault.

    The woman's step-sister claimed her family was offered money to drop the case.

    The Marines disputed the charges. The case is expected to finish by August with hearings four times a week.


  2. #2
    Rape Victim Identifies Marine as Assailant
    From Times Wire Reports
    July 7, 2006

    In tearful testimony during a trial involving four U.S. Marines, a Philippine woman identified the serviceman who allegedly raped her.

    The 22-year-old woman said she was attacked Nov. 1 by Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith as Lance Cpls. Keith Silkwood and Dominic Duplantis and Staff Sgt. Chad Carpentier cheered him on.

    The rape charges are punishable by up to 40 years in prison, and the judge has entered not-guilty pleas for the four. Defense lawyers say Smith had consensual sex with the woman.


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