U.S. Marine Faces 40 Years For Rape Of Filipina

Lance Corporal Daniel Smith was convicted today for the rape of a Filipina. Smith faces a 40 year prison sentence in a Filipino jail and financial restitution. Smith now sits in a Makati City jail. Believe me, a Filipino jail is nothing like our cushy American jails. IT IS PRISON.

Nicole had accused Smith of raping her at the Subic Bay freeport in November 2005.

Lance Corporals Keith Silkwood and Dominic Duplantis and Staff Sergeant Chad Carpentier were acquitted for lack of evidence.

Source: INQ7

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Subic Bay Rape Case: Verdict Only Days Away

Four U.S. Marines wait in Manila, Philippines today for a judge’s verdict that is expected to be delivered November 27th. The four men are accused of raping a filipina nicknamed Nicole (to protect her identity).

I’ll post the verdict as soon as I get it.

(Update 11/24/2006 3:27pm):

The verdict date has been moved to December 4th.

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Nicole Suffers Breakdown: Trial Adjourned

The trial of four Marines accused of raping a Filipina was adjourned today after Nicole suffered a “breakdown”:

INQ7—THE second appearance of the complainant in the Subic rape case on Friday was postponed by Judge Benjamin Pozon for Monday because she was “too distressed” to attend the hearing.

Dr. June Pagaduan-Lopez told the court she received a call from private prosecutor Evalyn Ursua informing her that “Nicole,” as the complainant who has accused four US Marines of rape is known, was unable to continue her testimony because she kept on crying. …

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Subic Bay Marine Rape Case Update

A Filipino doctor has testified that Nicole “suffered injuries consistent with a sexual assault.”

Lance Corporal Daniel Smith, Lance Corporal Keith Silkwood, Lance Corporal Dominic Duplantis and Staff Sergeant Chad Carpentier continue to be held by the U.S. Embassy in Manila. The Marines are accused of raping a Filipina while on shore leave at Subic Bay.

Extensive coverage of the rape case is available HERE.

Source: INQ7

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Subic Bay Marine Rape Case: Custody Issues

Four U.S. Marines accused of raping a Filipino woman—Lance Corporals Daniel Smith, Keith Silkwood, Dominic Duplantis, and Staff Sergeant Chad Carpentier—remain in U.S. custody today.

The Philippines has requested custody of the accused Marines but thus far the United States has declined to hand them over, angering Filipinos. Under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) negotiated with the Philippines, the United States is allowed to retain custody throughout the trial process.

A source told me this morning that the Philippine Congress has recommended termination of the VFA in order to re-negotiate its terms. But any decision to abrogate the treaty will have to come from President Gloria Arroyo and be approved by the Philippine Senate.

Though the United States has declined to hand over the Marines, I would ask our Filipino friends to be patient. At the moment, what matters most is that the Marines and the woman involved receive a fair trial. And should a jury convict the Marines, the United States response will be the true test of the Filipino/American relationship and the VFA, not pre-trial custody.

God bless you my friends.

(Update 11/20/2006 7:20am): The verdict is expected to be delivered on November 27th; I’ll post it in this article as soon as it is available:

Subic Bay Rape Case: Verdict Only Days Away

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Four Marines Charged With Rape In Philippines

Four U.S. marines have been charged with rape. Philippines authorities are expected to issue arrest warrants for Staff Sergeant Chad Brian Carpentier and Lance Corporals Daniel Smith, Dominic Duplantis, and Keith Silkwood next week:

INQ7—The case of the alleged rape of a 22-year-old Filipino woman by US Marines at the Subic Bay Freeport is now in court.

Olongapo Prosecutor Prudencio Jalandoni and Assistant Prosecutor Raymond Viray yesterday filed rape charges against four of the original six American suspects and their Filipino driver, and demanded custody of the Americans and their detention in an Olongapo jail.

The four Americans are the first foreign soldiers to be charged with rape since the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) was implemented in 1999 to allow military exercises between the Philippines and the United States. . . .

The four marines will face either a life or death sentence if convicted of the rape. Such harsh penalties are mandated because rape is considered a “heinous” crime in the Philippines.

Related Stories:

U.S. Marines Deny They Raped Filipina
OpinionBug.com: Philippines Marine Rape Case: What Of Justice?
OpinionBug.com: Manila Rape Victim May Withdraw From Case Against Marines
Marines Suspected Of Rape Remain In Custody Of US Embassy In Manila

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U.S. Marines Deny They Raped Filipina

Five of six U.S. Marines denied raping a 22 year old woman in counter-affidavits filed today:

INQ7—”I categorically deny the allegation that I along with the other Marines in the van gang-raped [the] complainant,”

Staff Sergeant Chad Bryan Carpentier said in a sworn statement submitted by his lawyer before prosecutors investigating the case. . . .

Related Stories:

Four Marines Charged With Rape In Philippines
OpinionBug.com: Philippines Marine Rape Case: What Of Justice?
OpinionBug.com: Manila Rape Victim May Withdraw From Case Against Marines
Marines Suspected Of Rape Remain In Custody Of US Embassy In Manila

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Philippines Marine Rape Case: What Of Justice?

Six U.S. Marines are still detained inside the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines today. The Marines are accused of raping a 22 year old woman in Subic Bay on November 1st.

This morning my thoughts center on justice, justice for the young woman and for the Marines accused of raping her. But I have come to the conclusion that justice may have become a victim as well. I say that having read many stories in the media in which the Marines have already been tried and convicted. No examination of the evidence; no testimony; just the verdict—guilty.

And justice is a victim; it was made so by groups that hijacked the rape victim’s case and made it their own. Today, the case seems more a trial of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), the American military presence in the Philippines, and of President Arroyo’s government than it is of a young woman’s alleged rape. How can the Marines ever receive a fair trial in such an environment? Should the United States even submit these Marines to a trial on Philippine soil? In this case I believe it should. And it should because the crime was rape and it was allegedly committed by the Marines while they were on shore leave

If America’s commitment to the VFA is on trial here, then even more so is Philippines justice. And should it become apparent that justice isn’t possible, then by all means extract the Marines and damn the consequences. But I believe Filipinos are better than that. They’re a free society and I believe they’ll find a way to provide a trial that is just for all involved.

When all is said and done, I pray that justice gleams and Filipino-American relations are as strong as ever.

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I’m by no means an oracle of absolute truth so sound off if you disagree.

Related Stories:

Four Marines Charged With Rape In Philippines
U.S. Marines Deny They Raped Filipina
OpinionBug.com: Manila Rape Victim May Withdraw From Case Against Marines
Marines Suspected Of Rape Remain In Custody Of US Embassy In Manila

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Manila Rape Victim May Withdraw From Case Against Marines

Breaking news from the Philippine Star this evening:

The Legislative Oversight Committee on the Visiting Forces Agreement (LOVFA) says the woman accusing six Marines of rape will release a supplemental affidavit in the next few days that will weaken her case. They further state that she may withdraw from the case altogether. Currently, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is completing its analysis of crime scene DNA evidence.

Philippine legislators and the NBI say if the victim withdraws from the case she will likely be prosecuted for perjury based on her original affidavit. A former trial court judge told the Philippine Star that if the victim withdraws, the case will be weakened but not trashed.

Source: Philippine Star [ Rape victim ng GI Joe’s aatras ]

Update (11/26/2005 9:57am):

The Philippine Star has an update to the story this morning:

Katrina Legarda, one of the lawyers for the rape victim, has denied reports that the victim will file a supplemental affidavit.

Timoteo Soriano Jr.—driver of the van where the victim was allegedly raped—has been charged as an accomplice in the case. Mr. Soriano has said that members of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) coerced him into signing an affidavit implicating the Marines in the gang rape of the young woman.

Source: Philippine Star [ Rape case vs GIs could weaken ]

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Over at INQ7, Rasheed Abou-Alsamh is asking questions that I’m certain are on the minds of many people.

Rasheed says, “The main question in my mind is why would any woman in her right mind hook up with a group of six young and, let’s be honest here, horny soldiers in a bar, of all places?”

Source: INQ7 [ Questions raised by Subic rape case ]

Related Stories:

Four Marines Charged With Rape In Philippines
U.S. Marines Deny They Raped Filipina
OpinionBug.com: Philippines Marine Rape Case: What Of Justice?
Marines Suspected Of Rape Remain In Custody Of US Embassy In Manila

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