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CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Lance Cpl. Curtis Gilbey — being court-martialed on rape charges — believed the woman he was in bed with silently consented to have sex with him, his defense attorney claimed Wednesday.

Gilbey was shocked when the woman screamed and leapt out of bed, Capt. Jennifer Spooner said in her opening statement Wednesday, the first day of Gilbey’s trial on charges of rape, sodomy, sexual assault and giving false statements under oath.

“He thought she was awake,” Spooner told the panel of four enlisted members, two officers and a chief warrant officer. “He was completely confused. He thought she knew what was going on.”

Gilbey, 21, was on Okinawa, assigned with his unit on a six-month deployment from Twentynine Palms, Calif., to Camp Schwab. He had been drinking heavily in Okinawa City the night of May 17-18 and around 5 a.m. had stopped by his girlfriend’s barracks at Kadena Air Base to sleep, according to Spooner.

His girlfriend wasn’t in her room, so Gilbey asked her friend if he could sleep on her floor instead. Spooner said the woman allowed Gilbey into her bed after he complained the floor was too hard.

Later, Gilbert woke up in a haze, thought he was in his girlfriend’s bed, and started to nuzzle and fondle her, Spooner said. At some point he realized the woman was not his girlfriend, but, “She seemed to be enjoying it,” Spooner said, “so he decided to take it further.”

However, the woman, testifying Wednesday, said she had not given Gilbey any indication she wanted to have sex with him. After the incident she said Gilbey apologized to her and asked her not to call police because it would ruin his career.

“At any point did he ever say that he thought you were awake?” asked Capt. Matthew J. Kent, the prosecutor.

“No,” the woman answered. “He was apologizing, I remember he was apologizing, saying he was sorry.”

Prosecution witnesses testified that Gilbey gave three different statements concerning the incident.

When questioned May 18, he told an Air Force investigator that he awoke in the woman’s bed in a sleepy haze, believed her to be his girlfriend and had done nothing more than fondle her.

However, in a Nov. 6 statement, after being confronted with DNA evidence that showed his DNA mixed with hers in samples taken of clothing, hair and body fluids collected the morning of the incident, he admitted to some sexual contact.

On Nov. 11 Gilbey admitted that he had known the woman was not his girlfriend and that he had tried to have sex with her.

During testimony over a speakerphone from Baghdad, Special Agent Michael Smith said he spoke with Gilbey at an Air Force Office of Special Investigations interview room on Kadena Air Base on Nov. 11 and told the Marine that “things are sometimes left out of statements from both sides and I needed to know the whole story.”

“That’s when he leaned forward in his chair and told me everything he had just told me was a lie,” Smith said. “He acknowledged that she was really not aware of what was happening to her.”

Kent was expected to wrap up the prosecution’s case Thursday. The court-martial is expected to last through Friday.


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