Pacific edition, Thursday, May 10, 2007

OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — An Air Force pilot was found not guilty Tuesday of raping a female officer with whom he’d had a previous, consensual sexual relationship.

Capt. David M. Morey was acquitted of a single charge of rape in a court-martial that began Monday before Air Force Lt. Col. Eric Dillow, a Pacific circuit military judge based at Yokota Air Base, Japan.

Morey is assigned to Osan’s 51st Operations Group.

His acquittal came in a trial during which the defense argued that Morey’s accuser was untruthful and had been evasive under cross-examination.

On Monday, the woman testified that she and Morey had a previous relationship during which they had sex four or five times, but agreed to end it and remain friends.

She testified that Morey showed up at her dorm room May 24 while she was packing for a new assignment outside South Korea.

When he asked her to let him lie with his head in her lap for what he promised would be only “five minutes,” she agreed.

During the visit, she testified, he raped her.

Morey did not testify during the trial.

In his closing argument Tuesday morning, defense lawyer Eugene R. Fidell said the prosecution had failed to make its case.

Fidell pointed to the woman’s statements during cross-examination in which she said she had not fought back during the alleged rape but had instead lain passive.

The woman said she had not wanted to report the alleged attack and instead wanted to proceed with her change of duty station, but was persuaded by a fellow officer to report it. She testified she had declined to have a medical exam available to alleged rape victims, and she told investigators she’d given to an acquaintance the linens that had been on her bed during the alleged attack.

Fidell pointed to several statements in her testimony that he contended were inconsistent and amounted to “perjury.”

“There are grave gaps” in the woman’s responses, Fidell argued, “simply white spaces on canvas.”

Fidell’s co-defense counsel was Capt. Deanna Daly, based at Yokota Air Base. Prosecuting Morey were Capt. Ryan Hendricks of Yokota and Capt. Todd Fanniff of Osan’s legal office.

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