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KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — A German woman testified at an Army pretrial investigation hearing Thursday that a Kaiserlautern soldier choked and raped her before stabbing her twice with a kitchen knife.

She said Pvt. Solomon E. Smith attacked her on Sept. 10 after they met at a downtown club.

Smith, a soldier with the 1st Transportation Movement Control Agency, is charged with attempted murder, rape, sodomy, assault, obstruction of justice and absence without leave.

The Article 32 investigation, the military’s equivalent of a grand jury hearing, will determine whether a court-martial is warranted. If convicted of the charges, Smith faces a maximum punishment of life without parole, Army prosecutor Capt. Kevin McCarthy said.

The woman invited Smith to her one-bedroom apartment after a night of partying and dancing at a club. They left between 5 and 5:30 a.m., and she testified that she assumed they would watch a movie at her place.

After changing into shorts and a sleeveless shirt, she found him lying on her bed. She joined him, and he gave her a massage.

That’s as far as she wanted to go with him, she said. But he wouldn’t stop trying to kiss her even though she said she told him “no” several times.

When she demanded to drive him home, she said he jumped on her back and started choking her. He let her go and told her to take her clothes off. She had sex with him, she said, only because she was scared he might hurt her.

When he finished, she grabbed her cell phone, locked herself in the bathroom and tried to call police. She said Smith knocked on the door so loud she was afraid he would knock it down.

She hung up the phone before the call went through and let him in the bathroom because she was afraid, she said.

She sat naked on the bathroom floor and she said he asked her how she felt. Then, she testified, he stabbed her in the side and then in the chest with a small knife from her kitchen.

“First I thought he had hit me,” she said. “I look down and I was bleeding.”

She told him that she needed to go to the hospital, but she said he didn’t want to initially because he was afraid he would go to jail. After promising she would not get him in trouble, he agreed to take her to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

Dr. Charles Iliff, a doctor working at the hospital’s emergency room, testified by telephone from Maryland that the woman had a collapsed lung and appeared anxious and frightened. He also said he noticed scratches on her neck. The woman said she spent a week in the hospital due to her injuries.

Army Criminal Investigative Division Special Agent Dennis Whitfield testified he found the woman’s bedsheets balled up and underneath some folded clothes in the closet and the knife with the help of the German woman. Investigators also found blood drops on a blanket.


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