Jury to begin deliberations in Okinawa sexual-assault trial
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Deliberation was to begin Friday in the trial of a Marine corporal who is accused of using a glitch in the programming of magnetized card keys to sneak into the barracks rooms of four female Marines while they slept.
Cpl. Christopher McKinney, assigned to the Marine Logistics Group on Camp Kinser, is charged with raping one of the women and sexually molesting the others in separate incidents from January 2005 to March 2006.
The charges include one count of rape, three of indecent assault, three counts of burglary and one count of unlawful entry. His court-martial began Wednesday.
According to the tearful testimony of the four women, McKinney lived in the multistory barracks and used a magnetized key to gain entry to their rooms.
McKinney testified it was common knowledge in the barracks that the keys, programmed to open one door, also could be used to gain access to other rooms.
A Marine spokesman said all of the keys in the barracks were demagnetized and reprogrammed when the allegations surfaced in April.
One lance corporal testified McKinney raped her on two different occasions in March as she slept off the effects of heavy drinking.
“I remember lying on my back and waking up with someone on top of me,” the woman, now a corporal assigned to a base in California, testified about the first alleged incident, in early March. “I saw it was Corporal McKinney. I don’t remember inviting him to my room.”
At the time, McKinney was her immediate supervisor and she did not report the incident.
The next workday “was like nothing had happened, like it was a normal workday,” she said. The following weekend, after also drinking heavily with friends, she said let McKinney into her room when he asked to use her computer. She indicated she considered it as giving him a second chance to be a friend.
“I guess I wasn’t thinking,” she said. As McKinney worked on the computer, she testified, she fell asleep in bed and awoke to him on top of her again.
Still, she testified, she reported neither that incident nor a third the next weekend, when she ordered McKinney from her room after he sat on her bed.
McKinney testified that he had a consensual affair with the woman and that she was somehow conspiring with the other three to press charges against him. He said he at first denied to investigators that he had brief consensual sexual encounters with her and two of the other woman because he was afraid he’d be charged with adultery.
His only admission was that he used the room key of a woman in an adjoining room to gain access to the room of the woman who accused him of rape. The woman in the adjoining room accused him of molesting her on the same night.
She and two other woman said McKinney also entered their rooms with a key but they awoke while he was fondling them and he left their rooms when asked.
However, none reported the incident until they were called in for questioning by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service concerning an unrelated report of a rape under similar circumstances in the barracks.
Two of the women said they told friends and their platoon sergeant of the incidents, but no further action was taken.
“I felt that I could handle it by saying no to the situation,” said a lance corporal who testified she awoke to find McKinney, who worked with her, touching her in early 2005. “I just thought it would stop there.”
In May 2005, another lance corporal said she reported a similar incident to the platoon sergeant. In a written statement provided as evidence, the sergeant, now a recruiter in the United States, denied anyone had reported McKinney’s alleged actions to him.
The fourth female Marine said McKinney entered her room on March 17, 2006. She said she did not report the incident immediately because she was about to go on leave in the United States.
She reported it when she returned and heard another woman had been raped in the barracks.