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MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan — A Hiroshima woman testified Wednesday she was gang raped by four Iwakuni Marines but originally lied about the incident to Japanese authorities.

The alleged victim took the stand during the second day of Lance Cpl. Larry Dean’s court-martial, which also included testimony by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and a military clinical psychiatrist.

Dean pleaded not guilty to raping and kidnapping the woman, who was 19 years old at the time. He admitted Tuesday to having sex with her in a Hiroshima parking lot, drinking underage and breaking liberty rules.

He is the first of the four Marines to face trial over the alleged rape Oct. 14. Courts-martial are scheduled in coming weeks for Gunnery Sgt. Carl M. Anderson, Gunnery Sgt. Jarvis D. Raynor and Sgt. Lanaeus J. Braswell.

The woman said she was taken against her will to a dark parking lot in Hiroshima early in the morning of Oct. 14 and raped at least five times.

“Against me were four big guys and they had already committed rape,” the alleged victim testified. “I couldn’t doubt that they might kill me, too.”

The woman said she lied to police and prosecutors for weeks about the rape because she believed the Marines would escape punishment and feared her mother would be ashamed over the incident. Stars and Stripes does not disclose the names of alleged victims of sexual assault.

Japanese authorities decided not to pursue the case in November after weeks of investigation and almost daily interviews with the alleged victim.

Dean’s defense attorney said the woman is a constant liar who wants to protect her reputation and get revenge for being treated “like trash” by the Marines.

“She decided to lie her way through the process,” said Lt. Eric Wimberger, defense attorney for Dean. “She is motivated by reputation and what others think of her.”

During questioning by the defense Wednesday, the woman said she did not loudly object or ask to get out when the four men drove away from a Hiroshima club while she was partially naked in the back seat.

She also said she did not fight the men as they had sex with her because she feared they would beat her.

“I did not choose to resist with my body or voice” although she was being raped, she said through an interpreter.

After the incident, the woman told Japanese police and prosecutors she cried “stop, stop, stop” when the vehicle pulled away, Wimberger said.

“You are lying either in that statement [to Japanese authorities] or today,” Wimberger said.

Prosecutors admitted the woman, a key piece in their case against Dean, gave inconsistent statements to investigators.

“But there is one unmistakable theme in all those interviews ... she was raped,” Maj. Robert Palmer said. “This is not a barroom situation gone bad. This is a vicious rape.”

A clinical psychiatrist who specializes in treating trauma among servicemembers testified Wednesday that the woman’s actions were consistent with those of other trauma victims.

“No matter what they do, they think nobody will believe them,” Danielle Sanchack said. “They see people around them as perpetrators instead of just people.”

Victims often go to great lengths to avoid confronting their trauma, including lying to police, Sanchack said.

Meanwhile, NCIS said Dean originally tried to conceal he had sex with the woman twice in the parking lot that night, Special Agent Jeff Henson said.

Dean noticed the woman’s demeanor changed after she had sex with the first two men but he decided to have sex with her again anyway, Henson said.

“The only thing [Dean] indicated to us is she didn’t want to be having sex,” he said. “She had given up.”

Dean told NCIS that rape was one of his first thoughts after being arrested, Henson said.

Dean’s court-martial is expected to last through Friday.


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