Sergeant not guilty of Camp Walker rape
CAMP HENRY, South Korea — A jury panel on Tuesday found a 29-year-old sergeant not guilty of raping a 20-year-old private in her Camp Walker barracks room in June after a night of drinking.
Sgt. Quincy Babers also was acquitted on charges of making a false official statement and unlawful entry.
Babers, a supply sergeant with the 19th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), said he wasn’t surprised by the verdict at the end of the one-day trial.
“The truth came out,” he said Tuesday evening.
Babers and his fiancee said the past six months have been the worst of their lives, with Babers being forced to stay in South Korea and away from his children in the United States while awaiting trial. He was supposed to leave the country in August.
“Everywhere I go, people look at me differently,” he said.
His fiancee, Tiffany Webb, said the charges put a strain on their lives.
“It’s put a dent in our relationship; it’s put a dent in our careers. It’s been hard,” she said.
Babers didn’t testify, but his defense attorney, Capt. Michael Korte, said the sergeant had consensual intercourse with the private.
The private, however, testified that she had blacked out and was too drunk to know what was happening.
For privacy reasons, Stars and Stripes does not identify alleged sex crime victims or the witnesses whose testimony could identify them.
“How do you get meaningful consent from someone who at that time was so drunk she probably won’t remember having sex with you?” prosecutor Capt. Bailey Brown asked the jury during the trial.
The private testified that she and her then-boyfriend, who is now her fiance, went to a Daegu restaurant that night to celebrate his birthday and then went clubbing.
Friends who were at the club that night testified that the private was drunk, and Babers volunteered to take her home alone even though others offered to help. One specialist testified he saw Babers carry the soldier to a taxi cab and then saw her vomit out the window.
The private’s former roommate testified the woman was drunk when she returned to their room with Babers, and the private began brushing her teeth. Babers told the roommate that the two planned to have sex, and she could stay or leave, the roommate testified.
As the roommate left to go upstairs to her boyfriend’s room, Babers put his hands on the private’s waist, the roommate testified.
“She kept brushing her teeth like it didn’t even matter,” the roommate testified. She added that she told the private that she was crazy, and said the private giggled in response.
The private said she remembered little about that night until she woke up in her bed, with Babers having sex with her.
“He asked me if everything was OK, and I said ‘no,’” she testified.
In a signed statement taken by investigators, she said she told Babers to stop, pushed him away, and he left. But in court on Tuesday, she said that Babers continued raping her for five to 10 minutes after she told him to stop.
She called a male friend and asked him to come to her room. When he arrived, he testified, he found her sitting on her bed crying with a blanket wrapped around her, her hair disheveled, and mucus running down her face. He said the private told him that Babers had raped her, but when the friend encouraged her to get help, she said she didn’t want anybody to know.
He convinced her to go to Camp Walker’s medical clinic. As they walked there, they met Babers and another person. The private was afraid, the male friend testified.
“She just grabbed ahold of my arm and stuck her head in my arm,” he testified.
The male friend testified that he had talked to Babers while walking to the barracks to meet the private after she called him. Babers, who had previously told the male friend he wanted to sleep with the private, said he had “finally got her” and described the private’s position during sex, the friend testified.
“He said she probably wouldn’t remember. She was sick, and to keep it between us,” the male friend testified.
The private testified that she didn’t remember making four phone calls during the same time period to her boyfriend, now her fiance, who testified Tuesday that he was angry at her that night because she left the club without telling him. He said they spoke by cell phone four times between approximately 2 a.m. and 3:24 a.m. and that during one of the final calls, she told him she had been raped.
The fiance, then on a bus to Camp Carroll, called a soldier on duty at the barracks and asked to have someone to check on her. He spoke to the private’s male friend later that night, who told him his girlfriend was getting help.
The couple met the next day at the Camp Walker Lodge and talked about their relationship but not the alleged rape, she testified.
“I didn’t feel that it was necessary for me to talk to him about it,” the private said.
Special Agent Eric Lapiers, who took statements from Babers and the private, said Babers’ story had “missing pieces” that he tried to cover when Lapiers pointed them out. Babers never admitted raping her.
The private and several of her former roommates testified that Babers had come into her room numerous times during the preceding months to talk with the private. Babers also told the private several times that he wanted to have sex with her.
“I always thought it was a joke,” she said.
Babers served three days of pretrial confinement in November, was restricted to post and was ordered not to drink alcohol after he was released, Brown said.