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CAMP PENDLETON, CALIF. — A married Camp Pendleton Marine was sentenced in military court Thursday to a loss of $3,000 in pay and a letter of reprimand for attempted adultery and obstructing justice after claiming she had been raped by a fellow Marine.
The woman, a staff sergeant whose name was being withheld, was facing a year in the brig and dishonorable discharge.
The case began when the woman’s husband, who is also a Marine, filed an adultery complaint with her commanders after she and another staff sergeant checked into a hotel following an afternoon of heavy drinking last year.
The pair both said they had sex in the room, but the woman said she was too drunk to consent, a statement prosecutors regarded as false. The other Marine said he didn’t know she was married and didn’t appear overly intoxicated. He was not charged in the case.
Investigators concluded she was lying to them and the case moved toward court-martial.
“By whatever means necessary, (she) was going to save her skin. When backed into a corner, she played the ultimate trump card by claiming sexual assault,” prosecutor Maj. Doug Hatch said in closing arguments.
The woman’s defense counsel, Capt. Rafiel Warfield, conceded that his client lied about going to the hotel with the Marine but maintained she was raped.
“It was not consensual. It wasn’t romantic. It wasn’t an affair. It was rape,” Warfield said.
The military judge, Lt. Col. Leon Francis, found the woman guilty of both charges she faced Wednesday. He found the woman wasn’t guilty of adultery but was guilty of attempted adultery because she checked into the hotel room.
The woman didn’t testify during the three-day trial.