Court-martial begins for Marine accused of rape on Okinawa
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A Camp Schwab Marine is facing trial here this week on charges he raped and sodomized an airman on Kadena Air Base last May.
Lance Cpl. Curtis Gilbey, 21, is also charged with making false statements and committing indecent assault on the woman, who had allowed him to sleep in her dormitory room at Kadena on May 18.
According to evidence presented at a motions hearing Tuesday, the woman allowed Gilbey to sleep on her floor, but he crawled into her bed during the night and she woke up with him on top of her. She screamed, immediately ran away and reported the incident.
Gilbey, assigned to an infantry company, at first denied allegations he raped the woman, according to the evidence, admitting that he had a lot to drink that night while partying on Gate Two Street in Okinawa City.
During testimony, he said he had consumed a “six pack of beer and 15 to 20 rum and Cokes” and awoke in a dreamy haze thinking he was in bed with his girlfriend and started to fondle her.
When the airman screamed, he realized she was not his girlfriend, according to statements he later made to Air Force investigators.
A special agent with the Office of Special Investigations testified that Gilbey was cooperative and did not seem to be impaired by alcohol when questioned later that morning, waiving his rights to remain silent or have a lawyer present.
He also signed a consent form to allow a search of his body for evidence.
That consent was the basis for a motion by the defense to suppress any evidence collected at the U.S. Naval Hospital, where Gilbey allowed a nurse to collect hair samples, take swabs of his mouth and other areas of his body for DNA testing.
Gilbey said he had understood the investigators wanted to take some samples for DNA testing to show if he had made any contact with the woman, but he did not know the details of collecting such evidence and was embarrassed when the female nurse had him strip and submit to the procedure.
The investigators failed to provide him with enough information to make a sound decision to waive his rights, argued Capt. Jennifer Spooner.
The judge, Maj. John G. Baker, dismissed her motion. He said there was no evidence Gilbey had been coerced into waiving his right to voluntarily refuse to be searched.
That could open the door to the introduction at trial of statements Gilbey made to investigators in November, when he was informed that they had DNA evidence that showed traces of the woman’s DNA was found on samples taken from on his genitals.
In a statement made Nov. 11, Gilbey admitted that he had known the woman was not his girlfriend and that he had tried to have sex with her, according to evidence presented Tuesday.
Gilbey pleaded innocent to the charges at a previous hearing. His court-martial was set to begin Wednesday and last through the week.