Hansen Marine convicted of raping comrade
Stars and Stripes June 22, 2007
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Marine Cpl. Roberto Deloya was found guilty Wednesday of raping a lance corporal last November as she lay passed out in her barracks room bed after a night of heavy drinking.
A general court-martial panel of three officers and three senior enlisted members, five of them men, took two and a half hours to reach the verdict, which could send the Chicago native to prison for life without parole. Sentencing was scheduled for Thursday.
Deloya also was found guilty of three counts of unlawful entry, two violations of general orders that banned drinking hard liquor in barracks and engaging in sex in the barracks, and two counts of disobeying a noncommissioned officer.
The charges stem from an incident the night of Nov. 17 in a barracks on Camp Hansen. According to testimony during the two-day trial, Deloya and other Marines spent most of the night playing drinking games in the lance corporal’s room and then left the barracks to continue partying at the enlisted club at The Palms.
There they got so drunk that they both had to be helped back to their rooms. According to the testimony of other Marines, Deloya left his room and prowled the hallway of the second floor of the barracks, knocking on doors and rattling doorknobs.
“He had one thing on his mind,” said Capt. Timothy Aoyagi, one of two prosecutors in the case, during his closing argument. “He was going to have sex with someone and it didn’t matter who it was.”
Defense attorney Capt. Jennifer Hermann argued that the woman could have been in a blacked-out state in which she could have consented to sex, but did not remember anything later.
Witnesses testified that Deloya entered the room of another female Marine, but she was sober and quickly had someone escort Deloya back to his room. But later that night Deloya found another open door.
That’s where he was discovered by a Marine who went to check on her friend. He was on top of the lance corporal.
“She was unconscious on her bed,” Aoyagi said. “He found his victim and took advantage of her.”
On the stand Wednesday for the sentencing phase of the court-martial, the woman tearfully said she had been shamed by the incident and wanted to get out of the Marine Corps. She said other Marines “think I’m weak and can’t control myself.”
“I don’t talk to anybody. I don’t try to have any friends in the military,” she said, partly blaming herself for what happened.
“If I hadn’t gone out drinking that night, this wouldn’t have happened.”
Deloya showed little emotion when the verdict was read. In a brief statement he apologized to everyone — except the victim.
“I honestly regret what I did,” he said. “I caused disrespect for everybody in this room, my shop, the Marine Corps and my family.”
He called his actions that November night “a simple mistake.”