Another Rape Case Involving the Military in the Philippines
A Filipino woman who has accused a U.S. Marine of rape attacked the serviceman with her fists in court Monday as she walked to the witness stand to testify against him.
The 22-year-old woman was walking to the stand to resume her testimony in the Makati Regional Trial Court in Manila when she turned toward Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith and started hitting him with her fists and handbag.
Court officials and U.S. embassy staff quickly separated Smith and the woman, who was led into a bathroom with her lawyer, Evalyn Ursua.
Smith, 21, of St. Louis, was sitting with fellow defendants Lance Cpl. Keith Silkwood and Lance Cpl. Dominic Duplantis. Staff Sgt. Chad Carpentier, another defendant, was seated with defense lawyers. The three are charged with cheering on Smith during the assault.
The Marines could face up to 40 years in prison if convicted.
The Marines had just finished counterterrorism maneuvers with Philippine troops before their arrests.
The case sparked anti-American protests in the former U.S. colony and is seen as a black mark on exercises credited with helping weaken al-Qaida-linked militants in the country's restive south.