July 20, 2006

US Marines in rape trial refuse to give DNA evidence

(UPDATE) THE four US Marines on trial over the alleged rape of a Filipina refused on Thursday to submit blood samples that prosecutors claim would link at least one of them to the crime.

This as a police DNA expert stood by the findings of his examination of the condom and underwear recovered from the Filipina woman who has accused the American soldiers of rape.

Prosecutors have asked the lower court in Makati City to compel Staff Sergeant Chad Carpentier and Lance Corporals Daniel Smith, Keith Silkwood and Dominic Duplantis to submit blood samples for DNA testing.

The government lawyers claim the tests would help identify DNA from bodily fluid samples found in the woman's underwear after the alleged sexual assault at the former US naval base of Subic Bay on November 1, 2005.

The woman has testified that Smith lured her out of a Subic Bay bar after a night of heavy drinking and then raped her inside a rental van with the three other Marines cheering him on.

Benjamin Formoso, Smith's Filipino lawyer, told the court Thursday that the rules of court do not compel the defendants to submit evidence unless prosecutors can prove first that it is relevant to the case. (Originally published on Inq7 web site on July 20, 2006. Click on blog title for the rest of the story.)

IN the US, murderers and rapists convicted to life imprisonment or death use DNA testing to prove their innocence. In the Subic rape case, the accused Marines refuse to take a DNA test. Why? The reason is obvious. Why would the suspects want to incriminate themselves by volunteering to give evidence which otherwise would help them get off the hook? This is no OJ Simpson trial where the late Johnny Cochran had told the jury, "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit." For the Subic rape case, "If the DNA speaks, you must convict."

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