Jump to content

Marine convicted of rape in Philippines


OldSand
 Share

Recommended Posts

By PAUL ALEXANDER, Associated Press Writer

MANILA, Philippines - A young U.S. Marine faces 40 years in jail after being convicted Monday of rape in a landmark case that has become a symbol for women's rights and national sovereignty in the Philippines.

 

Makati Regional Trial Court Judge Benjamin Pozon rejected Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith's claim that the woman was a willing partner, saying she was too drunk to have consented to having sex.

 

Three other Marines were acquitted of complicity for allegedly cheering on Smith in the back of a moving van.

 

As the verdict was delivered, cheers and applause broke out in the courtroom, and the 23-year-old woman began weeping as supporters embraced her. "I'm sad that three were acquitted, but I'm also happy because one was convicted," the young woman, who is Filipino, told ABS-CBN television in a telephone interview.

 

But as the convicted Marine was exiting the courtroom, a scuffle broke out between U.S. Embassy guards and Philippines police as both tried to take Smith away, underscoring the territorial dimension in the case which has consistently made front pages in the past year with lurid details. Filipino guards eventually secured the Marine's custody.

 

The U.S. Embassy had retained custody of Smith during the prosecution, in line with a treaty governing foreign troops in the former American colony after the closing of U.S. bases in the early 1990s. Although the joint military pact paved the way for U.S. counterterrorism training and was credited with helping local forces make gains against Muslim extremists, some Filipino groups have protested the 1998 pact, claiming it gives U.S. servicemen favorable treatment.

 

The 23-year-old woman accused Smith, who had just participated in joint military exercises, of forcing himself on her in the back of a moving van after a night of drinking at the former U.S. naval base at Subic Bay. She claimed three Marines cheered him on, before he dumped her on the street with her pants around her ankles.

 

Smith, 21, of St. Louis, countered that the young woman was a willing participant.

 

He was ordered to pay her $2,000 in compensatory and moral damages. The other three Marines were charged in the case, but were acquitted and immediately headed back to their unit in Okinawa, Japan, where they could still face military discipline.

 

The scuffle came as Smith was taken away in handcuffs to be fingerprinted and photographed and to undergo a medical exam. A Philippines police official said it appeared there had been a misunderstanding over whether Smith would remain in U.S. custody during a subsequent appeal. The judge ruled that he would be temporarily held in a Philippines jail in Makati, Manila's financial district.

 

Zozimo Paredes, head of the Philippines' Visiting Forces Agreement Commission, said the agreement is clear that Smith will have to stay in the Philippines until his appeals are exhausted. He may also have to serve his sentence in the country.

 

About 100 protesters gathered outside the courthouse, chanting and singing "Bayan Ko," or "My Country," a popular nationalist song. They waved a banner that demanded justice for the woman and the scrapping of the Visiting Forces Agreement.

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061204/ap_on_...ines_us_marines

 

I posted this because I want to know what you guys think should be done with members of the military who commit crimes abroad. Should they be tried by an american military tribunal or, as here, by local authorities? I'm not sure what the standard procedure is right now...I always thought it was military trial, but here the Philippine authorities took the case. Discuss.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are overseas and break the laws of the country you are in, you need to be tried by that country. Those are the rules going in, and you are warned about it. I remember our orientation on our first night in Germany when we were reminded that in Germany, there's no such thing as police brutality and that the Polizei carry automatic weapons.

 

If you can't handle yourself, stay on base.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They should be tried in American military courts under the UCMJ and under no circumstance should they ever be turned over to another country to be dealt with there, no matter how heinous the crime. The UCMJ is far harsher than American civilian courts and the punishment will definitely fit the crime.

 

A fair trial cannot be ensured in any other country, especially since most of the world hates America and in virtually every case of something happening while on libbo overseas the country goes out of their way to make an example out of an American serviceman and a mockery of the United States while more often than not dealing out an absurd punishment, like what happened in the UAE a few years ago.

 

This man got lucky that his punishment was only $2.000 and not a prison term. We have American's right now serving ridiculous sentences in foreign prisons which would be considered cruel and unusual punishment anywhere in the USA and even though they committed the crime, it's wrong for we as American's to abandon them in a foreign land. If they did infact commit a crime and are guilty of it, we should be the one's to deal with them accordingly. No matter what they did, they need to be brought back to America and tried in a military court under the UCMJ and if found guilty in a fair trial they should serve out their punishment in a military brig, not a foreign prison where basic things like medical care, food, water, etc. cannot even be guaranteed.

 

And let me make one thing clear, the man who committed this rape (if it was indeed a rape) is no Marine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

UCMJ has no jurisdiction outside of the bases on foreign soil unless it pertains to the field of combat.

 

You will see, if you are ever stationed overseas, that this IS in fact the case.

Even though that's how it is, I think it's wrong for us to abandon our servicemen to a foreign country, ESPECIALLY if it's a country who isn't exactly an ally. Even if they were wrong and 100% guilty, they should be punished under the UCMJ and not some crazy religious law in a place like the UAE a few years ago.

 

I hope to go on Marine Embassy Duty one day... 3 years long and you serve three 12 month consecutive tours at three different foreign embassies, the first tour being in a sh*thole like the horn of africa or the middleeast, the second in a place slightly better, and the third tour in a place like Paris, London, Brazil, Germany, etc. where the libbo is good.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Phillipines is a US ally. Doesn't seem like his punishment was cruel and unusual either.

I bring this up because a few years back marines were flying a plane at low altitude (below the permissible level) in Italy. They cut the line to a cable car, killing the over 20 turists. None are serving any prison time. Only the pilot got discharged. Not quite the same because in this case they were on duty but still, I think the US military protects their own too much in these cases.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

UCMJ has no jurisdiction outside of the bases on foreign soil unless it pertains to the field of combat.

 

You will see, if you are ever stationed overseas, that this IS in fact the case.

Even though that's how it is, I think it's wrong for us to abandon our servicemen to a foreign country, ESPECIALLY if it's a country who isn't exactly an ally. Even if they were wrong and 100% guilty, they should be punished under the UCMJ and not some crazy religious law in a place like the UAE a few years ago.

 

I hope to go on Marine Embassy Duty one day... 3 years long and you serve three 12 month consecutive tours at three different foreign embassies, the first tour being in a sh*thole like the horn of africa or the middleeast, the second in a place slightly better, and the third tour in a place like Paris, London, Brazil, Germany, etc. where the libbo is good.

 

 

dont committ a crime on foreign soil if you dont want to deal with the foreign justice system.

 

 

not really that difficult, you shouldnt be able to run and hide behind the United States just because you are in teh service and do commit a crime in another nation.

 

would we allow others that commit crimes on our soil be tried by their home justice system?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Phillipines is a US ally. Doesn't seem like his punishment was cruel and unusual either.

I bring this up because a few years back marines were flying a plane at low altitude (below the permissible level) in Italy. They cut the line to a cable car, killing the over 20 turists. None are serving any prison time. Only the pilot got discharged. Not quite the same because in this case they were on duty but still, I think the US military protects their own too much in these cases.

That's not really true, because if it was then Fort Leavenworth wouldn't be full of ex-servicemen serving life sentences under hard labor and whatnot. Anytime there is a highly publicized crime committed by someone in the military and they're found innocent, people say "oh they're just protecting their own" but when they receive 40 years in prison with hard labor for a rape it goes unnoticed. The UCMJ is very harsh, and rightfully so because those in the military are held to a higher standard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So:

On duty --> military trial

Off duty --> local jurisdiction

 

 

This is how it is now?

Apparently so.

 

What if you get into a simple bar fight in some arab country with crazy religious laws and you're sentenced to 20 years in prison and a thousand lashings? It's just wrong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So:

On duty --> military trial

Off duty --> local jurisdiction

 

 

This is how it is now?

Apparently so.

 

What if you get into a simple bar fight in some arab country with crazy religious laws and you're sentenced to 20 years in prison and a thousand lashings? It's just wrong.

 

There are no bars in such countries.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Phillipines is a US ally. Doesn't seem like his punishment was cruel and unusual either.

I bring this up because a few years back marines were flying a plane at low altitude (below the permissible level) in Italy. They cut the line to a cable car, killing the over 20 turists. None are serving any prison time. Only the pilot got discharged. Not quite the same because in this case they were on duty but still, I think the US military protects their own too much in these cases.

That's not really true, because if it was then Fort Leavenworth wouldn't be full of ex-servicemen serving life sentences under hard labor and whatnot. Anytime there is a highly publicized crime committed by someone in the military and they're found innocent, people say "oh they're just protecting their own" but when they receive 40 years in prison with hard labor for a rape it goes unnoticed. The UCMJ is very harsh, and rightfully so because those in the military are held to a higher standard.

 

Not saying you aren't right but I don't think I've ever heard of a serviceman getting 40 years for rape or anything extreme like that. Show me some links of servicemen getting unfair punishment from foreign countries

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So:

On duty --> military trial

Off duty --> local jurisdiction

 

 

This is how it is now?

Apparently so.

 

What if you get into a simple bar fight in some arab country with crazy religious laws and you're sentenced to 20 years in prison and a thousand lashings? It's just wrong.

 

There are no bars in such countries.

It was just hypothetical, you know what I mean...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a very interesting debate, for certain. A lot of situations can easily come into play here. I mean, Joe Marine can rape a girl and be tried more leniently by our courts if Accord has his way. On the other extreme, Joe Marine could be put to death for stealing if we grant the rights of trial to the country he's in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So:

On duty --> military trial

Off duty --> local jurisdiction

 

 

This is how it is now?

Apparently so.

 

What if you get into a simple bar fight in some arab country with crazy religious laws and you're sentenced to 20 years in prison and a thousand lashings? It's just wrong.

 

 

So Arab countries that are severe on criminals are backwards. Yet arent you a huge supporter of the death penalty? And what derogatory term do you use for those countries that are critical of us for using it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest marlins02

as extreme as it is, i really got no issues with 40 years of hard ass labor for rape. he went to this country and raped a girl, how is the Phillipino government gonna be told not to prosecute him?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So:

On duty --> military trial

Off duty --> local jurisdiction

 

 

This is how it is now?

Apparently so.

 

What if you get into a simple bar fight in some arab country with crazy religious laws and you're sentenced to 20 years in prison and a thousand lashings? It's just wrong.

 

 

So Arab countries that are severe on criminals are backwards. Yet arent you a huge supporter of the death penalty? And what derogatory term do you use for those countries that are critical of us for using it?

I am a huge supporter of the death penalty, however the punishment needs to fit the crime.

 

The term "criminal" is incredibly subjective when you use it on an international scale. In Saudi Arabia, if you're a woman and you get gang raped, you become a criminal and are punished for it.

 

A Saudi court has sentenced a gang rape victim to 90 lashes of the whip because she was alone in a car with a man to whom she was not married.

 

The sentence was passed at the end of a trial in which the al- Qateef high criminal court convicted four Saudis convicted of the rape, sentencing them to prison terms and a total of 2,230 lashes.

 

The four, all married, were sentenced respectively to five years and 1,000 lashes, four years and 800 lashes, four years and 350 lashes, and one year and 80 lashes.

 

A fifth, married, man who was stated to have filmed the rape on his mobile phone still faces investigation. Two others alleged to have taken part in the rape evaded capture.

 

Saudi courts take marital status into account in sexual crimes. A male friend of the rape victim was also sentenced to 90 lashes for being alone with her in the car.

 

The court heard that the victim and her friend were followed by the assailants to their car, kidnapped and taken to a remote farm, where the raping occurred.

 

The victim was quoted by Okaz newspaper as saying she had expected harsher penalties for the assailants, especially as they had pleaded not guilty.

 

Her husband and family said that they would appeal to the court Saturday for harsher penalties for a crime which has shocked public opinion in Saudi Arabia and been the subject of months of debate.

 

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid...icle%2FShowFull

 

A woman was KIDNAPPED, GANGRAPED, and then sentenced to "90 lashes" because of some absurd muslim law about being alone in a car? That is just beyond comprehension, and you believe our servicemen should be tried under judicial systems like that? Absolutely not! They should be tried in a military court under the UCMJ and if they did infact commit a crime, then they'll be found guilty and punished accordingly. Even if they committed a heinous crime and should be put to death, they at least deserve a fair trial and that cannot be guaranteed unless it happens in a U.S. military court.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share



×
×
  • Create New...