‘Vanessa,’ with her back turned to media, recalls her experience with a US Marine whom she accused of raping her April 19 in a hotel in Makati City. D. FERNANDEZ

‘Vanessa,’ with her back turned to media, recalls her experience with a US Marine whom she accused of raping her April 19 in a hotel in Makati City. D. FERNANDEZ

Victim shows clear sign of sexual assault—lawyer

MANILA, Philippines— Another United States Marine has been accused of raping another Filipino woman, this time a 22-year-old-university student, whose lawyer described her as having showed “clear signs” having been sexually assaulted.

The woman, identified to the media only as “Vanessa” to protect her real identity, broke down as she read a prepared statement narrating her ordeal with the American soldier.

She said the alleged rape happened last April 19 inside a hotel in Makati City.

Lawyer Evalyn Ursua said there were “clear signs” Vanessa was raped.

“It was very clear she was raped. It was very violent. She had marks on her neck after the incident,” Ursua said.

However, the lawyer said that while Vanessa did not intend to pursue the case for now, they were prepared with documents to support a possible case such as medico-legal report.

“She just wants to bring out her pain and hurt. In a way, it’s a form of justice,” said Ursua.

The victim said she first met the soldier, alias John Jones, on April 10 when he approached her in a club at The Fort in Taguig, where she was going out with several friends.

“Jones” introduced himself as a US Marine and got her cellular phone number.

That night, upon Jones’s invitation, Vanessa together with her friends went to his hotel and had conversations with him. They went home the next day.

On April 18, she said she got a text message from Jones inviting her to go out. That same night, Vanessa was invited by a cousin and a male friend to go out. But after finding out that the place they entered was a “girly bar,” she asked her cousin and her friend to transfer to a wholesome bar.

They got to the bar at 3:15 a.m. of April 19. Few minutes after, she received a text message from Jones asking her whereabouts. Jones followed her there at about 3:30 a.m. accompanied by three women.

Jones asked her to go to the five-star hotel where he and his friends were billeted. He also told her that his girlfriend and other friends were in his room.

When they got to the hotel room, Vanessa found out there was no one else there. Jones told her that his friends were coming in five minutes.

They sat for a few minutes and chatted. After a while, Vanessa told Jones that she wanted to go home because Jones’s girlfriend might not like it seeing another woman in his room.

Jones suddenly stood up and slapped her, shouting at her, “Why do you do that?”

Vanessa told Jones anew that she wanted to leave and went towards the door but Jones lifted her and hurled her unto the bed. Jones repeatedly slapped her using his left hand while his other hand was pressing on her neck.

Vanessa resisted and pushed Jones, while cursing him. But Jones was already on top of her, kissing her lips, and breasts.

”Nagawa ni Jones na ipasok ang kanyang ari sa akin. Patuloy ko syang pinapalo pero sinasangga niya ito. Maya-maya, napagod na si Jones, tumayo at kinuha ang kanyang cellphone. Dali dali akong tumayo [Jones was able to have sexual intercourse with me. I continued hitting him but he was parrying my blows. After a while, Jones got tired, stood up, and took his cellphone. I immediately stood up],” according to the fact sheet she read during the press conference.

She broke down after reading this.

Vanessa said she then immediately collected her clothes and got dressed inside the bathroom. Jones tried to prevent her again from leaving the room, but Vanessa insisted.

When she got out of the room and was near the elevator, Jones followed her and she overheard him talking on the phone and asking for security personnel “to attend to a lost girl.”

Vanessa immediately sought help from hotel personnel when she got to the lobby. A female personnel, who introduced herself as head of the security, assisted her. She told the personnel that she was raped.

Vanessa called up her sister and narrated the incident. Soon after, they came to pick her up and went straight to the police station to report the incident.

At about 10 a.m. of April 19, she went to a hospital for a medico-legal examination. The next day, she went to Gabriela to seek their help.

The militant group said in statement that they were able to confirm that the man was a US soldier listed in hotel records as “from Joint US Military Assistance Group (Jusmag)/Balikatan.” is trying to get a reaction from the US embassy as of posting time.

In 2005, a Filipina identified only as “Nicole” also accused a US Marine, Lance Corporal Daniel Smith, of raping her in Subic.

In 2006, Smith was convicted and sentenced to up to 40 years by a local court, which he appealed before the Court of Appeals.

Earlier this year, “Nicole” recanted her allegation.

Smith was acquitted by the appellate court last month.

By Nikko Dizon, Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 12:15:00 05/14/2009