NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A military jury found a Navy special warfare sailor not guilty late Wednesday of raping a Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda multiple times after he refused to wear a condom.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Camaren Walker was accused of raping the woman in November 2010 the East African nation while he was deployed as a construction worker in support of a small group of Navy SEALs. Military prosecutors said he met the volunteer out at a bar one night and that she willingly went back to his hotel room.
In closing arguments, Walker's defense attorney repeatedly said the woman's story was unbelievable and she simply regretted a one-night stand. Among other things, the woman taught school girls in rural Uganda to use condoms and not to succumb to peer pressure.
Both sides said the 27-year-olds started out having consensual sex. But prosecutors said that after his condom came off twice, she wanted him to stop.
"He didn't want to follow (the accuser's) one rule for consensual sex," Lt. Aaron Riggio, a Navy prosecutor said. "She was very clear what her rule was."
Prosecutors said he then choked her to the point that she feared for her life. They said he later assaulted her in the shower and that she feared he would crush her trachea and might drown. The woman testified that she unwillingly had sex with him two more times. She said he didn't have to force himself on her two other times because she learned what would happen if she did.
Walker's defense attorney said during closing arguments that the woman was simply embarrassed by her actions and wanted to protect her reputation. When she saw her friends she was out with the night before, they started chanting, 'Walk of shame.' Lt. Lauren Mayo repeatedly said the woman's story was unbelievable.
Among other things, Mayo noted that the woman sent her friends back to the hotel room to retrieve her earrings after the assaults were said to have occurred. Mayo also said the woman hugged Walker before leaving in the morning and that she slept in Walker's clothes instead of her own. The woman said she didn't try to leave the room because Uganda is such a dangerous country at night, but Mayo noted she stayed there for four hours after the sun rose.
Online: Brock Vergakis can be reached at www.twitter.com/BrockVergakis