Airman on trial for rape heard on tape apologizing to accuser
RAF LAKENHEATH, England — She said no. He heard her say no. Then he allegedly raped her.
That was the crux of a key piece of evidence introduced Tuesday in the court-martial of a 48th Fighter Wing airman charged with two separate counts of rape against two separate victims almost a year apart.
A few weeks after Airman Renato Sanchez del Carpio allegedly raped his second victim in less than 12 months, Sanchez was confronted by the alleged victim in his on-base dorm room.
He was unaware, however, that the airman was wearing a listening device and that a pair of Air Force Office of Special Investigations agents were tuned in to their conversation.
“I told you no. I told you we couldn’t do it,” the victim is heard saying on the covert recording.
“I know. Sorry. … I’m really, really sorry,” was Sanchez’s reply.
“Did you hear me say no?” the victim asked.
“Yeah, I heard you.”
“I had tears in my eyes while you were doing that,” she said.
Sanchez later tried to comfort the victim. “I love you as a friend,” he is heard saying.
A recording of the roughly 20-minute conversation was played for the seven-member jury Tuesday during Sanchez’s court-martial. The tape was part of evidence accompanying the testimony of an OSI agent who investigated both alleged rapes.
Sanchez, of the 48th Dental Squadron, is charged with raping one victim after breaking into her dorm room following a night of partying on Oct. 28, 2005. He also is charged with raping another woman in his dorm room on Oct. 4, 2006.
It is Stars and Stripes’ policy not to identify victims of alleged sexual assault.
Neither airman initially reported their alleged rapes, and both were investigated more robustly following a second allegation of rape connected to the second victim. That second allegation — which was proved to be unfounded — did not involve Sanchez.
During testimony on Monday, the alleged victim of the 2006 incident testified that she did not fight back against the alleged assault, but instead lay on his bed staring at his closed eyes.
Toward the end of the tape, the alleged victim says to Sanchez:
“So the lesson we learned here today is ‘no’ means ‘no,’” she said. “I want you to think long and hard about what you did to me.”
The trial is expected to continue Wednesday.