Officers do not commit rape, soldier tells court

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The Independent Online
An Army officer cadet accused of taking part in the gang-rape of a 24-year-old student told police it was not the sort of thing officers would do, Oxford Crown Court was told yesterday.

Nicholas Oettinger, 20, told detectives: "We are all responsible guys and integrity is part of the job." Cadet Oettinger made the claim in a police statement read out to the jury on the sixth day of the trial of six officers accused of raping the woman at the Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham, Oxfordshire, in May last year.

Cadet Oettinger, Lt Darren Bartlett, 24, Capt Philip Bates, 26, Capt Ian Barlow, 29, Lt Matthew Tupling, 24, and Cadet Andrew Stout, 20, deny rape, and claim the woman consented to have sex.

Cadet Oettinger told police that at no stage during the sex session had the woman given any indication that she did not want to carry on. He said that when he walked into the room she was lying on the bed having sex with one man guy and masturbating two others. "She went on for a while and she was laughing and joking. She seemed perfectly happy," Oettinger told police. He said that during the sex session "we all laughed and cheered and said 'hooray, excellent fun'."

The first he knew of any problem was next morning when he heard from another officer, Lt Rupert Whiting, who had heard from the woman's friend that the alleged victim had been "quite upset". He said: "Rupert said it was because she was treated like a piece of meat which certainly did not seem apparent during the evening." He said the officers clubbed together to buy her a pounds 20 bunch of flowers in case there had been any "misunderstanding". "The guys were quite shocked about it and we thought 'Well OK. If she's upset we'll send her flowers'."

The trial continues.