Soldier gets 5 years, is discharged in rape of soldier
CAMP HENRY, South Korea — A 6th Ordnance Battalion soldier was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison for raping a fellow soldier in January.
An all-male general court-martial panel also sentenced Spc. Darnell Gibson to a dishonorable discharge, reduction to the lowest rank of E-1 and forfeiture of all pay and allowances.
The panel deliberated for about three hours Wednesday night before finding Gibson guilty of rape and two specifications of indecent language. They found him not guilty of dereliction of duty and falsifying an official statement in connection with the rape.
Military judge Col. Donna Wright found Gibson not guilty of one specification of indecent language and of conspiracy to commit rape, due to lack of corroboration.
Gibson pleaded not guilty to all charges and specifications to the incident of late night Jan. 27, early morning Jan. 28.
The woman testified she and Gibson went to three off-base bars to drink, dance and play pool that evening. According to court testimony, Gibson became so drunk he had to be carried back to Camp Carroll by the victim and one of his friends. Military police gave the three a ride back to the barracks because Gibson was too drunk to walk, according to testimony.
The woman testified she was worried that Gibson would choke on his own vomit if left alone, so she went to his room to check on him. Gibson invited her to watch a movie and she testified she either passed out or fell asleep on his bed.
She told the court that she awoke to Gibson raping her. She said he stopped and said, “I’m going to go get some of my boys.”
Gibson’s defense attorneys argued that the woman initiated the sex.
“She wanted more,” defense attorney Capt. Michael Korte said during his opening statement. “More than he could give.”
Korte said the woman encouraged his client to find more men in the barracks to have sex with her.
The woman said she awoke alone and naked in Gibson’s room around dawn. She dressed, returned to her own room and came to the conclusion later in the day that she had been raped.
“My clothes were everywhere,” she said. “I didn’t feel normal … I didn’t feel right.”
She went to the medical clinic and reported the rape.
Prosecutors argued that Gibson admitted during two separate sessions with investigators that he realized the woman was unconscious when he went to find other men to have sex with her.
Defense attorney Maj. Karen Riddle called the woman’s credibility into question.
“She remembers detail up to (the rape) very vividly, but after that point ‘I don’t recall,’” she said. “She was strong enough to help carry Gibson, but not to resist.”
After being found guilty, Gibson gave an unsworn statement to the court in which he asked for leniency.
Prosecutors wanted Gibson be sentenced to 10 years confinement, but the defense team said Gibson could “soldier back” and continue as an asset to the Army.
There is an automatic appeals process for cases resulting in dishonorable discharges or more than one year confinement.