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The four U.S. Marines accused of raping a 22-year-old Filipina are expected to make their first public appearance Friday, according to a report in the Manila Times.

Judge Benjamin Pozon formally scheduled the arraignment on April 21, the Times reported. However, he has yet to rule on several issues concerning the case, particularly the decision of Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez to downgrade the charges against three of the accused — Lance Cpls. Keith Silkwood and Dominic Duplantis, and Staff Sgt. Chad Carpentier — to accessories, leaving only Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith as the principal accused.

Evalyn Ursua, the lawyer for the alleged victim, told the Times that the court must first rule on the Department of Justice’s decision before it can proceed with the arraignment. She added that the decision to downgrade the charges of the three Marines will depend on Judge Pozon.

The woman alleges the attack occurred on the evening of Nov. 1, while she was vacationing in Subic Bay Freeport, and that Smith raped her in the back of a rented van while the other three Marines cheered him on. All four Marines have denied wrongdoing.


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