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European edition, Thursday, August 30, 2007

RAF LAKENHEATH — The court-martial of an RAF Lakenheath airman charged with two counts of rape has been delayed and could take another two weeks to reconvene, a base spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Maj. Paula McCarron, the military judge, pushed back Airman Renato Sanchez Del Carpio’s court-martial in order to provide time to retrieve the records of a person involved in the case.

“The delay is the result of the judge’s ruling on a motion,” base spokeswoman Tech. Sgt. Jill LaVoie said Wednesday afternoon. “It’s not going to proceed until they get these records.”

Courtroom officials did not disclose what kind of records were missing or which person they belonged to in the case, LaVoie said.

“Delays do not happen often, but they are also not unusual,” LaVoie added.

A portion of Wednesday’s court-martial, when the records issue was most likely discussed, was closed to the public. All questions posed by Stars and Stripes following the closed-door session were referred to the base public affairs office.

Del Carpio, a medical professional with the 48th Dental Squadron, is charged with the rape of an airman basic at or near Lakenheath’s Building 920, a dormitory, on Oct. 28, 2005. He also faces a rape charge involving an airman — almost a year later — at or near the base’s library, on Oct. 4, 2006.

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