Airman found guilty of sodomy, assault
Stars and Stripes March 24, 2006
RAF LAKENHEATH, England — A senior airman with the 48th Component Maintenance Squadron was convicted Thursday of sodomizing and indecently assaulting a fellow senior airman.
Senior Airman Jeffrey M. Robles, 22, of Santa Paula, Calif., was to be sentenced late Thursday for his actions on or about Sept. 24, 2005, during a house party at his residence in Holywell Row.
Defense and prosecution attorneys battled inside the RAF Lakenheath courtroom over testimony mainly concerning whether the incident was consensual. Both sides agreed that Robles and the victim were intoxicated on the night of the incident.
While on the stand, the victim admitted she was “very drunk” and passed out in her room at the residence. She testified that she did not invite Robles into her room.
She eventually broke into tears describing the details of the incident.
“So shocked … couldn’t move. I couldn’t say anything, I was petrified,” she said.
During opening statements, the prosecutor, Capt. Tony Camilli, described the case as “abuse of trust,” because Robles and the victim were friends at the time of the incident.
The victim did not physically see Robles in her room, she testified, but recognized his voice. When asked why she didn’t attempt to stop him, she replied that she became paralyzed from fear and shock, because he never acted like that before.
The defense attorney, Capt. W. Crosby Parker, opened by saying the victim “was coherent, not paralyzed.” Furthermore, she couldn’t keep her story straight, he said, pointing out different versions of statements she made.
The defense co-counsel, Maj. Steve Ganter, reinforced that argument in closing arguments.
“She had the ability to resist [which] she chose, consciously and knowingly, not to exercise. She consented,” Ganter said.
Witnesses also heard the victim say, “I wanted to see how far he could go,” according to court testimony.
In her closing argument, co-prosecutor Capt. Adrian Brown made it clear that Robles’ statement revealed that he saw the victim “passed out” when he came into the room. She also argued that the victim’s lack of response to the assault could have come from an acute stress reaction.
The military judge had not handed down a sentence for Robles by Stars and Stripes’ deadline.