Filtered By: Topstories
November 3, 2005: A 22-year-old woman (later referred to by the media as "Nicole") filed before the Olongapo City prosecutor's office a criminal complaint for gang rape against USS Essex military servicemen Chad Staff Sergeant Carpentier, Lance Corporal Daniel Smith, Lance Corporal Corey Burris, Lance Corporal Albert Lara, Lance Corporal Keith Silkwood, and another unknown suspect. The rape allegedly occurred in Subic on November 1, 2005. November 9, 2005: Nicole's mother, accompanied by one of her brothers, appeared on GMA7's "24 Oras" to ask for justice for her daughter. She asked GMA7 to show her face on television. "Ako na po mismo ang naglakas-loob na lumantad kasi para sa anak ko. Buhay ng anak ko kaya ipaglalaban ko para malaman ng tao kung ano ang pinagdaanan ng anak ko kung paano siya ginahasa," she said. She stressed that her daughter is not a sex worker, that she has a decent job and that she just on vacation in Subic. She vowed to fight for justice and asked the for the president's help. November-December 2005: Duration of the preliminary investigation on the Subic rape case. December 27, 2005: Rape charges were filed against Smith, Carpentier, Duplantis and Silkwood at the Olongapo Regional Trial Court. Burris and Lara, initially named as suspects, were cleared after evidence indicated they were not in the van during the alleged incident. January 2, 2006: Foreign Affairs Secretary Romulo said that the Department of Foreign Affairs remains committed to invoking the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement to obtain physical custody of the suspects in the Subic Case: â€œBased on the opinion of the Department of Justice, in which we are in full agreement, we continue to assert that this is an extraordinary case under the VFA and that the Philippines should have actual, physical custody." January 3, 2006: The Subic rape case was raffled off and assigned to Olongapo RTC Branch 73, handled by Judge Renato Dilag. January 16, 2006: Invoking Article 5, Paragraph 6 of the US-RP Visiting Forces Agreement, the US embassy said that its government has decided that it will retain custody of the four US Marines. GMA News reported that Atty. Katrina Legarda's group, which had handled Nicole's case since November 2005, had stopped representing Nicole in the Subic rape case. Nicole's mother told GMA News that despite this, they will go ahead with the case. March 5, 2006: Nicole faced the media to deny allegations that she is a sex worker. She asked the government's help to win the case and called on Soriano to help her. She said she wants her rapists to be imprisoned for life. She was accompanied by her new lawyer, Atty Evalyn Ursua, among others. March 15, 2006: Judge Dilag set the arraignment of the case on March 24. Dilag inhibited himself from the case shortly before this date upon the request of Nicole's lawyers. Dilag's son worked with the defense counsel of S/Sgt Carpentier, one of the suspects. March 27, 2006: Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez asked the Supreme Court to allow the transfer of the case to Manila, saying that the lack of judges in Olongapo City could delay proceedings. March 28, 2006: The Supreme Court ordered the transfer of the criminal trial of the Subic rape case to the Regional Trial Court of Makati City. April 3, 2006: The case was raffled off and assigned to Makati Regional Trial Court 139 handled by Judge Benajmin Pozon. April 28, 2006: US servicemen Smith, Silkwood, Duplantis and Carpentier appeared before the Makati RTC for the arraignment of the Subic rape case. The court entered a "not guilty" plea for the four principal accused as they did not enter any plea. June-November 2006: Duration of the Subic rape case trial at the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 139. Nicole took the witness stand in July; she recounted her ordeal before the court and identified Smith as her rapist. Smith, meanwhile, testified in September; he maintained that he had consensual sex with Nicole inside a van on the night of November 1, 2005.
- June 2, 2006: First day of the Subic Rape case trial: the complainant and the four accused (Smith, Duplantis, Silkwood and Carpentier) showed up at the Makati Regional Trial Court. It was the first time that Nicole and the accused met after six months when the rape was allegedly committed.
- June 16, 2006: In an exclusive interview with GMA News, Nicole said she felt irritated whenever she saw the accused in the courtroom -- "Minsan kasi hindi mo maiiwasan na tumingin sa kabila. Tapos andun din sila. Tapos ngumingiti sila na parang there's something... sobrang iritang-irita ako, gusto ko silang saktan actually." Nicole also said that hearing the witnesses' testimonies on what happened to her on the night of November 1, 2005 was torturous.
- July 6, 2006: Nicole took the stand and broke down in tears a couple of times as she recounted what happened to her on November 1, 2005. She failed to attend the hearing the following day due to severe traumatic stress.
- July 10, 2006: Nicole resumed her testimony. Recounting what happened in the van on November 1, she said she screamed and tried to push away Smith, who was already on top of her. She also heard laughter in the van. The next thing she remembered after regaining consciousness was that she was on the pavement with her pants worn the wrong way. A commotion in the courtroom occurred after a break when Nicole struck Smith repeatedly with her bag. She claimed Smith tripped her as she entered the courtroom. To avoid a repeat of the incident, Judge Pozon changed the seating arrangement of the accused.
- July 13, 2006: Nicole resumed her testimony, saying her life changed for the worse after the (alleged) rape. The lives of other family members have also been disrupted, as they attend to her and run the canteen she used to manage.
- September 11, 2006: Smith testified that he and Nicole had consensual sex. "I kind of asked jokingly if she wants sex here (inside the van), she said yes. I kind of looked surprised. So I started to getting undressed â€¦ and she did the same."
- October 4, 2006: In an exclusive interview with GMA News, Smith denied that he raped Nicole. "I couldn't have anticipated that a girl who was nice to me -- we had a good time -- would say something like that about us... I think she got caught up in a situation where it's easier to lie about something."