Prosecution in rape trial says it will prove defendant is ‘violent predator’ when drunk
May 19, 2007
CAMP CASEY, South Korea — A 2nd Infantry Division soldier accused of raping two female soldiers listened to both women during his trial’s first day Thursday.
Prosecutors said Pfc. Jose A. Claudio, of the Brigade Special Troops Battalion’s 4th Chemical Company, raped one private first class in her barracks room on Dec. 22 and another private first class in his room Jan. 27.
“The evidence will show that the accused is an unrepentant drunk, and when he is drunk, he becomes a violent predator,” prosecutor Capt. Marlin Paschal said in the Camp Casey courtroom.
Defense attorneys Capt. Jack Ko and Capt. John Cho argued that the sex was consensual in both cases.
The first woman told military Judge Col. Gregory Gross that Claudio walked into her room, then said he had a record deal coming and would leave the Army.
“He said, ‘How would you like to kiss a rock star?’ And I said, ‘I wouldn’t,’” she testified.
Claudio then pinned her to the bed. She said she struggled but did not scream.
“I told him to stop, that he was hurting me and that this was considered rape,” she said.
The alleged rape went on for at least 15 minutes, she said.
After she reported the incident, Claudio’s mother contacted her, prompting Claudio to leave a note on the alleged victim’s MySpace page.
The woman responded with a note on Claudio’s MySpace page with the words, “Hang in there, brother.”
“I just felt like it would be worse for me to hold a grudge,” she said.
The second woman said she was raped for 10 to 20 minutes in Claudio’s room after other soldiers left.
After the incident, she tied a T-shirt around her waist and went to the barracks’ common area.
“When I asked her what was wrong, she literally fell to the ground and started crying,” said Pfc. Sabrina Martinez, who was working at the common quarters desk that night.
Martinez and another soldier testified that the second woman told them she had a pact with her soldier husband who had recently left South Korea: Each of them could sleep with one other person while they were apart.
The second woman denied she ever said that.
The last soldier to leave her alone with Claudio said it did not appear she was “trying to get with Claudio.”
The trial was scheduled to resume Friday with testimony from the doctor who examined both alleged victims.