NAHA, Okinawa — A former Marine facing multiple rape charges addressed the court for the first time Tuesday in the more than four-month-old trial at Naha District Court.

Dag Allen Thompson, an Exchange New Car Sales employee, narrowed his defense options regarding the latter of the two charges, which accuses him of entering a home and raping an Okinawan woman in August 2004.

“I will not assert an alibi or a legally insane [defense] regarding the Chatan case,” Thompson told the three-judge panel.

The statement eliminates the need for the court to hear from two prosecution witnesses, said defense attorney Toshimitsu Takaesu.

It was Thompson’s first statement in court since the trial began in January. He has refused to answer all questions from the three judges.

Much of Tuesday’s testimony centered on methods police officers used to gather evidence from the accuser’s home.

Takaesu cross-examined Naha police officer Isao Uema and police photographer Morio Oshiro, paying particular attention to the cotton swabs used to collect DNA samples from the bed sheets on which the rape reportedly took place.

Uema testified that he broke some of the swabs in half so that they would fit in the evidence bags. In those cases, only half of the swabs were used, he said.

“Why were the other halves of the broken swabs not put in the bags?” asked Takaesu through a court interpreter.

Uema acknowledged that they could have been placed in the bag at the time but were not.

The broken halves not included in the evidence bags could have been discarded because they suggested something that would have weakened the prosecution’s case, Takaesu said.

The defense’s reasoning regarding the cotton swabs was “based on speculations,” said prosecutor Mamoru Yamatoya.

Takaesu’s argument built on last month’s cross-examination of the victim, when he attempted to show that the DNA samples could have been from sexual activity by the woman’s sister.

Thompson, 31, who is married to an Okinawan woman, is charged with burglary and rape both in the Chatan case and in a 1998 case in Naha, to which officials said his DNA was matched last year.

At previous hearings, Thompson’s 21-year-old accuser in the Chatan incident testified she was asleep in her sister’s bed when someone disturbed her in the early-morning hours of Aug. 22. She said she shined her cell phone light in his face, revealing a heavy-set Caucasian.

Thompson later was identified from a police sketch. He has been in police custody since his Oct. 15 arrest.

Chiyomi Sumida contributed to this report.

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