40 years' jail for US Marine in Philippines rape

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The Independent Online

A US Marine was today convicted in a landmark rape case and sentenced to 40 years in prison, ending a long, emotional trial that has strained US-Philippine ties and tested a joint military pact.

Three other Marines and their Filipino driver were acquitted of complicity.

A 23-year-old Filipino woman, known publicly by her pseudonym "Nicole," accused Lance Cpl Daniel Smith of sexually assaulting her while she was drunk last November, while Staff Sgt Chad Carpentier, Lance Cpl Keith Silkwood and Lance Cpl Dominic Duplantis allegedly cheered him on.

Smith, 21, from St Louis, Missouri, had testified that the sex was consensual.

Instead, he became the first American soldier to be convicted of wrongdoing since the Philippine Senate ordered US bases shut down in the early 1990s and joint training was established under a treaty, the Visiting Forces Agreement, in 1998.

In addition to the sentence, Smith was ordered to pay the defendant 100,000 pesos (£1,000) in compensatory and moral damages.

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