Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Defense rests case

prosecution offers US NCIS agent's testimony during Oct. 5 hearing

The defense in the rape case filed by a Filipino woman against four American servicemen rested its case Monday afternoon, following the testimony of medico-legal expert, Dr. Teresita Sanchez, who said she did not think Nicole was raped on Nov. 1, 2005.

The defense presented just four witnesses­accused L/Cpl Daniel Smith, Dominic Duplantis, Keith Silkwood and S/Sgt. Chad Brian Carpenter, Nicole's former friend, Justin Michael Hamberger, and Sanchez in the course of the trial that began June 2nd.

Smith has been tagged as the prime suspect in the gang rape case, with the three others said to have cheered Smith on as the alleged crime was being committed in a moving van at the Subic Bay in Olongapo City.

The four agreed that it was consensual sex between the woman and Smith, and they did not interfere with the lovemaking inside the van because "it was not their business."

Aside from principal witness, Nicole, prosecution presented 22 witnesses, including businessman Joseph Khongkun who claimed to have seen Nicole dumped out of the van onto a roadside close to the USS Essex, the servicemen's ship docked at the Subic pier.

The defense was given until Friday this week to present its formal offer of evidence to Judge Benjamin Pozon of the Makati Regional Trial Court, while prosecution must rebut this next week.

When the court hearing resumes October 5, prosecution said it will bring in American Guy Papageorge, a special agent of the Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS), and his assistant, Filipino Antonio Ramos, a NCIS resident agent.

In the early morning hours of Nov. 3, or two nights after the alleged incident, Papageorge went up the USS Essex, and investigated the accused. The four were on liberty from a joint military exercises with Filipino counterparts in the Subic area.

Except for Smith, the three marines signed and appeared to have agreed with Papageorge's report and waived their rights under military courts.

The names of two more marines, Albert Lara and Corey Burris, were originally mentioned in the investigations, but they were later cleared since they were not in the van at the time of the incident. Fortunately, both also had time to seek legal counsel before any more investigations followed, the defense counsel said.

On cross-questioning Monday, Sanchez reiterated that the absence of contusions on the inner thighs of contusion-prone Nicole, did not point to rape. She pointed out that, on the other hand, the accuser had contusions on her arms.

In an ensuing conversation with the Philippines News Agency, Sanchez said that "it is my impression…my honest opinion that she was not raped."

Sanchez, also an obstetrician-gynecologist, said the medico-legal report on Nicole indicated she is contusion- prone that is why she easily has contusions even with just a slight grabbing of her arms.

She repeatedly told prosecutor Hazel Valdez, who claims that Nicole was too drunk to resist the sexual assault of Smith, that even in a "stuporous" state, a "dead drunk" woman could still offer resistance when there is stimulus.

Emelie Delos Santos, chief of the government panel prosecuting the Americans, meanwhile, said that the four accused gave conflicting statements against each other during their earlier appearances. But defense lawyer Jose Justiniano said "it merely shows they were speaking naturally and there was no rehearsed testimony…what is most important is that they were all united in saying it was consensual sex." (PNA)


  • "Nicole" has her own lawyer-what is the role of this person? What function does she play in the persecution? If she is not happy with the persecution lawyers-why does she not take a more active role for her client?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/29/2006 12:02 AM  

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