Yongsan GI found not guilty of sexual assault at hotel
January 16, 2009
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — A five-member panel found a 595th Maintenance Company soldier not guilty of aggravated sexual assault and indecent acts after a two-day court-martial that ended Wednesday.
Pvt. Johnny Santiago was accused of having sex in Yongsan Garrison’s Dragon Hill Lodge with a woman who, on the heels of a July 4 drinking binge, said she was too drunk to consent, according to testimony.
At the hotel, she said, she slept in a friend’s room while her friend slept on the floor and Santiago slept on a sofa bed.
The woman said she passed out shortly after arriving in the room and awoke the next morning to find herself naked from the waist down with dried semen on her leg.
Later that day, she went to Brian Allgood Army Community Hospital to report she had been raped.
During closing arguments, prosecutor Capt. Cesar Casal used a sworn statement Santiago had given investigators, in which he admitted to having sex with the woman knowing she was drunk at the time.
But defense attorney Maj. Thomas Crumley pointed out flaws in the woman’s trial testimony that contradicted her statements during previous interviews and hearings.
The woman admitted she had no memory of the events and her testimony was based on what others told her had happened that night.