Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


SUBIC, June 27, 2006 (STAR) By Michael Punongbayan - The American boyfriend of the Filipino woman who filed rape charges against four United States servicemen has backed her claim and vouched for her character.

"I would describe (her) as a trusting and very honest person. (She) and her family are faithfully religious Roman Catholics," Sergeant Bryan Dalembertian Goodrich of the US Marine Corps said of his 22-year-old girlfriend, who was allegedly raped by his fellow US Marines at the Subic Freeport in Zambales last November.

The STAR learned that Goodrich was among the first to learn how his girlfriend, identified only as "Nicole," was allegedly raped on the night of Nov. 1.

In his statement to a US Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) investigator, Goodrich, of the 12th Marines Operations Platoon based at Camp Hansen in Okinawa, Japan, stood behind Nicole and even defended her from rumors that his girlfriend worked in a bar.

"She works in her family’s store and she is a hard worker. She has a very close family. To my knowledge, she has never worked in a bar before, only in her family’s cantina," he said.

Goodrich, whose affidavit is now being utilized as written testimonial evidence against Lance Corporals Daniel Smith, Dominic Duplantis, Keith Silkwood, and Staff Sergeant Chad Carpentier, said he met Nicole in July 2005 when he went to Zamboanga City for the "Operation Enduring Freedom" joint military exercises.

"We were friends at first but later became girlfriend and boyfriend. I would usually go to the cantina for lunch and visit her," he said in his statement to NCIS agent Douglas Robinson at Camp Hansen.

"We actually became boyfriend and girlfriend on Aug. 27. Just before I returned to Okinawa, we agreed to keep in touch after I left the camp," Goodrich added.

Goodrich said he and Nicole kept in touch through telephone calls and e-mails on an almost daily basis, while also sending letters by post.

About two weeks before the alleged rape, Goodrich said Nicole informed him that she was going to Subic with her sisters along with a certain Carlos, a sailor on the USS Stalkholmes.

He said he even called her two days before the night of the alleged rape and eventually learned about the incident the following day by e-mail and was asked to call.

"When I talked to her, she appeared to be timid, scared and confused. She was also crying. She said that she didn’t know what to say or how to tell me, but she was raped the previous night," Goodrich told the NCIS.

"While she told me this, she continued crying. When she told me this, I was shocked," he said, adding that he consoled Nicole and told her to calm down, but she continued to cry throughout their conversation.

During the weeks following the alleged rape, Goodrich said he and Nicole did not talk much about the case but they continued to communicate. For developments, he relied on the news.

But during this period, Goodrich said Nicole told him about how a nurse in the hospital where she was brought on the night of Nov. 1 treated her badly and told her "something along the lines that maybe she deserved this."

Goodrich told the NCIS that they started talking about the details of the alleged rape in late November, and Nicole told him she was with her sister and Carlos at a club.

Carlos, during the past few hearings at the Makati City regional trial court, has been identified as Carlos Ocasio of the US Navy while the club was Neptune Club.

Nicole, Goodrich said, spoke of a certain Gerald, who accompanied them and with whom she drank alcoholic drinks as if they were competing.

Goodrich said Nicole told him she danced with a guy who was later identified as Smith, one of the accused and the one tagged as the person who allegedly had sex with her.

Nicole told her boyfriend that Smith wanted her to dance with her back against him and added that "she did not like dancing that way."

She also told Goodrich that she drank something called Bull Frog and that after drinking the same, she no longer knew or remembered what was going on.

"I asked her if she blacked out or passed out and I explained the difference. She said she blacked out. She said she might have been carried piggyback to the van," she told Goodrich, referring to the Starex van where the alleged rape took place.

Nicole, not mentioning anything about the actual sex, told her boyfriend that Smith’s weight overwhelmed her and that there was heckling inside the van.

"Other than the heckling that was going on by others in the van, (Nicole) never mentioned anyone else raping her. (Nicole) stated that the next thing she remembered was lying in the streets with her pants down," Goodrich told the NCIS.

Goodrich’s affidavit has been tagged as one of the strongest evidence to be presented by the prosecution since he does not doubt Nicole’s claim of rape.

"She has never told me that she is making this up. I think she is being honest about the incident, given her character," he told the NCIS while even referring to Nicole’s mother, Susan — whose name he spelled as Suzzane in his affidavit — as an outgoing, friendly, and hardworking person.


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