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CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea — A five-member panel on Thursday convicted a 2nd Infantry Division soldier of rape.

The panel spent almost four hours deliberating before delivering the verdict during a general court-martial at Camp Humphreys.

Spc. Leon Mealing Jr., Headquarters Support Company, 602nd Aviation Support Brigade, pleaded not guilty to raping a fellow servicemember after inviting her to sleep in his barracks room early Sept. 3.

The victim testified that after a night drinking with friends, she played pool with Mealing at Tommy D’s, an on-post bar, until about 2:30 a.m.

Afterward, with no taxis or buses running, she tried to walk back to her barracks. Mealing offered to walk her with her, and the two wandered for 30 minutes to an hour before the victim said she was lost and unable to find her way home.

She testified that she had tried to call her supervisor for a ride home, but got no answer.

Phone records from that night showed no call, but the supervisor testified that she had a missed call on her phone from the time in question, but without caller ID, she could not say who it was from.

According to testimony, Mealing offered to let the victim sleep in his barracks room, and she accepted his offer on the condition that she would sleep in the bed, while Mealing slept in a chair.

She said Mealing loaned her a pair of shorts and a T-shirt to change into.

After a short conversation, the victim fell asleep on the bed, while Mealing remained in his chair.

She said her next memory was Mealing beginning to have sexual intercourse with her, and upon awakening, she rolled away and yelled at him.

She testified that Mealing was staring at her with a confused expression as if he didn’t know what he’d done was wrong.

“I said this is so close to rape, it’s not even funny,” the victim testified, adding that she did not know what Mealing had done was rape at the time.

The victim then called a taxi and left.

“I felt stupid. I felt completely violated. I thought I could trust him,” the victim said.

She reported the event to her supervisor and then criminal investigators Sept. 7.

Mealing told a different version of the story, saying he had fallen asleep in his chair, then awoke because he was cold.

He said he shook the victim by the shoulder and asked her to give him a blanket. She suggested he get in bed with her instead.

Mealing said he crawled into the twin-sized bed and put his arm on the victim’s shoulder. He said she moaned after he touched her shoulder, and he followed by touching other parts of her body, testifying that she continued to moan.

“I thought that meant she liked what I was doing,” Mealing said.

The victim’s roommate had earlier testified that she moans frequently in her sleep.

Prosecutors presented no medical or physical evidence in trial, relying on testimony from the victim and the statement given by the defendant to criminal investigators in which he admitted the crime.

The defense countered by saying the investigator coerced Mealing during the making of the statement.

During testimony, Mealing pointed out several places in his statement where he said his testimony was unfairly influenced.

Agent Armando Dela Rosa Jr., who took Mealing’s statement, testified that he had not coerced Mealing during the making of the statement and had informed him of his right not to make a statement or leave the criminal investigation office at any time.

Sentencing was to take place Friday morning. Mealing faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.


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