No witnesses called in defense of Marine accused of rape
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — The testimony phase of a Marine sergeant accused of raping a youth counselor last summer wound down Wednesday after the defense declined to call any witnesses.
Closing arguments were scheduled for Thursday morning in the court-martial of Sgt. Roberto Hernandez, 27, assigned to the 3rd Transportation Support Battalion, 3rd Force Service Support Group.
Hernandez is charged with raping a 23-year-old woman as she lay semiconscious on the floor of a Foster Towers apartment on July 27.
Hernandez looked on dispassionately as the woman, 23, testified that she did not remember much about the night she went with a friend to a Marine’s apartment in Camp Foster. She said she participated in some games that involved chugging beer and whiskey and passed out in a bathroom.
It was the second day of the prosecution’s case against Hernandez, who has been confined to the Joint Forces Brig on Camp Hansen since July 30.
The 23-year-old woman, an undergraduate from the University of California at Los Angeles, remained calm on the witness stand as she related what she remembered about that night. She displayed little emotion while testifying that she had vague recollections of vomiting and of people watching over her, wiping her mouth and asking how she was.
But at some point, she testified, she felt she was lying naked on her stomach and someone was removing her clothing.
The next thing she recalled, the woman testified, was waking, clothed and in a bed in the apartment, the next morning.
“I was having some difficulty,” she said. “I felt something had happened in the bathroom and somebody laying on me and entering me. I felt like an attack had been made.”
She testified that she could not identify who had been in the bathroom with her.
When she asked the next morning about the previous night’s events, no one in the apartment would tell her what had occurred, the woman testified.
After talking to her supervisor at Camp Adventure, the woman went to the U.S. Naval Hospital the next night for an examination.
Only then was a report made on the alleged sexual assault. She said a doctor at the emergency room declined to treat her unless she agreed to file a report.
An examination revealed bruises to the back of both her legs and an abrasion in the vaginal area, said Navy Lt. Michael Cackovic, a Navy gynecologist.
He said the wounds could have been sustained during a sexual assault but did not rule out other causes.