Camp Hansen lance cpl. found guilty of raping fellow Marine
June 19, 2005
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Marine Lance Cpl. Manassas Paige, 21, was sentenced to four years in prison and a dishonorable discharge Friday following a two-day trial for rape.
Paige, assigned to the 12th Marine Regiment on Camp Hansen, was court-martialed for the Thanksgiving Day rape last year of a 19-year-old private first class in her barracks room on Camp Hansen. Prosecutors said Paige bought the woman liquor and got her drunk. According to testimony, the woman was passed out on her bunk with Paige on top of her when a roommate came into the room, saw them and called military police.
The victim in the case testified that she had blacked out and didn’t remember the incident.
She also said she wouldn’t have consented to sex if she had been aware of what was happening to her. She admitted that she had a long history of alcohol abuse. A blood test taken an hour after the incident showed her blood-alcohol content to be 0.293 percent, considered to be significantly intoxicated.
Capt. Josh Rosen, the prosecutor in the case, said Paige learned of the woman’s alcohol problem and used it to prey on her. Testimony showed the two hadn’t met before that night, but that Paige charmed his way into the woman’s barracks room and then plied her with rum.
“He was a calculating predator,” Rosen said in his closing argument.
Capt. J.A. Madia, Paige’s lawyer, argued the woman could have consented to having sex with Paige before she passed out.
But that may have been outweighed by testimony from another Marine, who said Paige commented earlier in the day that he was “going to get some of that,” indicating the victim, who was standing nearby and appeared to already be drunk.
Members of the court-martial panel deliberated for an hour in Keystone Judicial Circuit Court before returning a verdict of guilty on the rape charge. They then spent twice as long deciding a sentence.
When deciding a punishment, they also had to consider five charges to which Paige pleaded guilty at a previous hearing before the judge, Lt. Col. D.J. Daugherty. Those charges included dereliction of duty in allowing the underage Marine to drink in his presence, and, in incidents that occurred after the rape , to wrongful use of government e-mail, showing disrespect to a staff noncommissioned officer, striking a corporal during an altercation outside his barracks and leaving Camp Hansen after he was placed on restriction.
Paige, who showed little emotion through the trial, gave a short unsworn statement prior to sentencing. Standing before the panel, he read an apology from a prepared statement in a rushed, dry monotone.
“I am truly sorry,” he said. “I let my family down and the Marine Corps.”
He then asked the panel to take into consideration that he had a wife and a 3-year-old daughter that he hadn’t seen in more than a year.
Rosen made note of the statement in his argument for a 16-year sentence.
“In his 54-second apology, he never apologized to [the victim],” he said. He also noted that the defense had no character witnesses on Paige’s behalf and that Paige had a history of minor offenses during his nearly three years in the Marines.