‘Nicole’ continues narrating alleged rape

Monday, July 10, 2006
Witness: Nicole

Tension ensued about 10 minutes before the hearing started today when ‘Nicole’ repeatedly pounded on accused Lance Cpl Daniel Smith with her handbag, claiming he tried to trip her when she passed by him as she entered the courtroom, then fell screaming and weeping on the floor while embassy aides lifted Smith onto the row of seats behind him.

Startled prosecution and defense lawyers rushed to stop ‘Nicole’, help her to her feet, and take her out of the courtroom. She had walked in with the legal aides of her lawyer Evalyn Ursua when she suddenly turned around on Smith and started hitting him with her handbag.

Smith was then sitting with Lance Cpls. Keith Silkwood and Dominic Duplantis on the seats provided for the accused, which are near the entrance of the Makati session hall being used for the trial. In front of them, about half a meter away, sat their lawyers and the fourth accused, Staff Sgt. Chad Carpentier. Court observers and guests have to pass by this space to get to the other side of the hall.

Ursua said she did not see what happened; only that ‘Nicole’ fell off balance. ‘Nicole’’s mother, who also rushed to her side, said the accused had tried doing this before. Ursua’s legal aides, however, said that ‘Nicole’ was not intentionally tripped. They said she only became emotional after she saw that there was little space to pass through.

The hearing proceeded despite the incident, with ‘Nicole’ taking the stand for the second time to continue her direct testimony. Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 139 Judge Benjamin Pozon was, however, forced to declare a 10-minute recess after ‘Nicole’ cursed and slammed her palm on the witness stand 30 minutes into the hearing while narrating a delicate portion of her testimony.

‘Nicole’ had testified on Thursday, July 6, that Smith pulled her by the wrist to go outside the bar although she insisted that she stay where she was because she was waiting for her stepsister. She added today that her world was already spinning at the time because she was very drunk and dizzy. The next thing she remembered, she said, was that Smith was on top of her kissing her lips, neck and chest and fondling her breasts.

She said she tried to push him away with her hands because she didn’t like what he was doing, but was not successful because she was very weak and Smith was heavy. She turned her head to the right and to the left to avoid his kisses on her lips but was not successful either. She screamed but she said there was music. She also said that she heard voices and laughter, so she concluded that there were other people with them.

‘Nicole’ told the court that she knew it was Smith because she saw his face in front of her own through a light that turned on and off. She also said she didn’t know where she was.

She said Smith continued doing what he was doing despite her efforts to ward him off. Right then, she was afraid that she might be raped, saying: “Kasi nakahiga na ako tapos hinihipuan nya dibdib ko, nanlalaban ako pero pinapatuloy pa rin nya. San pa ba hahantong yon (Because I was already lying down and he was fondling my breasts. I fought him off but he continued what he was doing. Where else would that lead?)?”

‘Nicole’ said she was feeling very weak by then, her head was aching, and her brain was shutting down but she fought it because she wanted to stop Smith. The last thing she remembered was that she was fighting him.

She said she didn’t know what happened after that because when she came to, she was on the ground with her pants put on backwards, the zipper of her jeans at the back. She wore loose fit denim pants that night, a white panty, and a mint green blouse streaked with white. The panty and the jeans have since been admitted as evidence.

She also said her phone and money weren’t in the pockets of her jeans anymore, but found instead an empty blister pack of pancreatin. She said she didn’t know how it got there.

‘Nicole’ also said she noticed a woman crying in front of her when she regained her consciousness but didn’t notice the woman’s face because her head was aching and she was dizzy.

She went back to the Neptune Club with policemen later that night to look for Smith. “Gusto ko siyang murahin. Gusto ko siyang patayin…dahil ni-rape nya ako. (I wanted to curse him, I wanted to kill him…because he raped me,” eh said.

But they didn’t find Smith there. ‘Nicole’ found herself next in the balcony of the Grand Leisure Hotel, where she and her two sisters had checked in for their vacation. She said she didn’t know how she got there, but she saw that her stepsister Anna Liza Franco had come down from their room crying and was trying to talk to her.

‘Nicole’ said she didn’t answer Franco’s questions because she was confused, afraid, dizzy, and she didn’t know how to tell her sister what had happened or how to find Smith. She was also afraid that her mother might get angry because the latter had told her the morning before the alleged rape incident to pack up and go home.

She said she felt pain in her body and in her vagina, from which she confirmed that she had been raped. She then went to the James Gordon Memorial Hospital with Franco and two policemen to undergo a medico-legal exam.

At the OB Room of the said hospital, she said the doctor asked her, “Na-rape ka? Baka ginusto mo? (You were raped? You must have wanted it?)

‘Nicole’ said she became hysterical upon hearing this, so she retorted angrily, “Hindi ko ginusto yun! Sino bang gugustuhin na ma-rape? (I did not want it! Who would even want to be raped?)”

She said the doctor left them after that and was gone for a long time. When she came back, ‘Nicole’ said the doctor attended first to a pregnant woman who had come in after them. When ‘Nicole’ was finally examined, she said her vagina was only swabbed.

‘Nicole’ was then accompanied by Franco and their friend, US Navy Petty Officer 2 Christopher Mills, who had invited them to Subic, to the Investigation and Intelligence Office (IIO) of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority where they all signed voluntary statements.

After that, ‘Nicole’ went back to the hotel, where she tried to eat but was only able to swallow a spoonful of food. She also forced herself to sleep but couldn’t because her mind was in disarray.

While they were at the hotel, Guy Papageorge, an agent of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) of the US Navy arrived and brought them back to IIO, this time to the office of Division Chief PaquitoTorres. There, ‘Nicole’ cried, saying she didn’t want to talk to a male investigator so Elsie Cabral, another investigator, talked to her instead.

At the IIO, ‘Nicole’ said a certain Ben Natividad gave her two options: to file a case or to settle. She decided to pursue the case. She also said Fe Castro and Joseph Khonghun arrived while she was there. She said Castro pointed to her and identified her as the woman she had seen being unloaded from the van like a pig. ‘Nicole’ said it made her even more angry when she heard this.

Lalong lumakas pakiramdam ko na binaboy talaga nila ako, na inabuso talaga ako. (I felt more convinced that I was molested by them, that I was abused), she said.”

‘Nicole’ also saw Timoteo Soriano, the driver of the van where she was purportedly raped. She said Soriano told them he would help. She then changed into the clothes that Franco had brought for her. While changing, she said she noticed bruises on her right wrist and right leg. She then gave her pants and underwear to Genevieve Puno, the custodian of evidence at IIO.

While at the IIO, ‘Nicole’ also learned that the IIO investigators had procured a trip ticket booklet from the scene where she was unloaded from the van. She was told that the investigators used the booklet to call up the van’s agency.

They were then taken to a safehouse. The morning after (Nov. 3), they went again to the hospital to have a medico-legal exam because they were told that the person in-charge was only available that day. They had gone there the day before to get the results of the first examination, but were only given the result of her urinalysis.

At the hospital, Dr Rolando Ortiz II, the medico-legal officer, conducted a pelvic exam on her. They got the result right away. ‘Nicole’ then filed her formal complaint at the Olongapo City Prosecutor’s Office that afternoon.

‘Nicole’ said she and her stepsisters fetched her mother and brother at the bus terminal after that. She added that she has not gone back to Zamboanga since the alleged rape because she felt ashamed. “Sa balita pala lang sinasabi na nila na masama ako. Jinu-judge nila ako kasi uminom daw ako. Ano bang masama sa iminom? (Even the news portrays me as a bad person. They judge me because I drank that night. What’s wrong with drinking?)?” she asked.

She broke down again at this point, which prompted the judge to adjourn the hearing 45 minutes early. The judge also ordered the four accused to sit in the gallery, where other court observers sit and which is away from the entrance, to avoid another tripping and hitting incident from happening again.

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4 Comments

  1. Jose Lopez said,

    July 27, 2006 at 9:28 am

    The doctor in attendance at the OB Room of the James Gordon Memorial Hospital at the time of “Nicole’s” examination should really be canned for his/her insensitivity and lack of professionalism.

    I certainly hope that the doctor is neither a woman nor a Filipino. If the doctor is a woman … she’s a disgrace to her sex. If the doctor is a Filipino … he/she would be a disgrace to the Filipino people. In either case … the doctor is a disgrace to the medical profession.

  2. flef said,

    July 27, 2006 at 6:16 pm

    Unfortunately, the doctor was both a woman and a Filipina. It is depressing, even discouraging, to hear about stories like these, to be discriminated against by your own kabaro and kabayan. Nonetheless, we continue to fight, until the last woman is belittled for her being who she is – a woman.

  3. sydney said,

    September 27, 2006 at 5:39 am

    “‘Nicole’ said she and her stepsisters fetched her mother and brother at the bus terminal after that. She added that she has not gone back to Zamboanga since the alleged rape because she felt ashamed. “Sa balita pala lang sinasabi na nila na masama ako. Jinu-judge nila ako kasi uminom daw ako. Ano bang masama sa iminom? (Even the news portrays me as a bad person. They judge me because I drank that night. What’s wrong with drinking?)?” she asked.”

    anong masama?eto ano bang tawag sa resultang ito sayo…mabuti ba to? nakabuti ba para sayo ang pag-inom?

  4. bryan said,

    November 7, 2006 at 11:42 pm

    sydney walang masama sa nangyayari sa kanya ngayon dahil yun naman talaga ang plano nila!besides it’s her 1st time drinking with americans?!?how could she be drunk
    ?while she’s been around with all these americans for a long time.ang sabihin mo pati sa subic ay gustong mamera ng mag inang yan!


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