Marine acquitted of rape, assault
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A Marine captain accused of raping, assaulting and threatening his wife was acquitted Thursday after a three-day general court-martial on Camp Foster.
The captain was accused of choking his then-pregnant wife to unconsciousness in 2002, raping her last year, threatening to sexually assault her and threatening to kill her if she left the island with their son.
The captain, who worked as a plans officer at Marine Headquarters Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, also was charged with obstruction of justice and violating a military protective order.
During final arguments, prosecutor Capt. Andrew Beckwith told the jury the case “revolves around whether or not you believe [the wife].”
Beckwith cited dissimilarities between the captain’s testimony Wednesday and a written statement he signed eight days after the alleged rape last year.
“This is a damning statement, where events were still fresh, and the accused was in a state of remorse,” Beckwith said.
Civilian defense attorney Shannon Frisson called the case “a very sad story of a family breaking down, but what you don’t have is evidence to convict anyone of anything.”
“If you want to convict [the captain], you have to go on [his wife’s] word alone,” Frisson told the jury.
She said every Marine who testified thought highly of the captain, who has served 16 years and has an unblemished record.
“He did not do, and would not do, the heinous things listed on that charge sheet,” Frisson said.
The five-member jury announced the not-guilty verdict after six hours of deliberations.
Hearing the verdict, the captain bowed his head and then turned to thank and hug his defense team.
Stars and Stripes is not naming the captain because it would identify the alleged victim in a case tried as a sex crime.