Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Marine Gets Punished For 'Attempted Adultery' But She Says She Was Raped

United States Marine Corps flag (Photo by atlaspix via Shutterstock)
Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

A female marine has been convicted of "attempted adultery" and lying to investigators by a military judge.There's one twist in the case: the woman claims that she was actually raped.

The woman and the man involved in the case, both staff sergeants, worked together at Camp Pendleton, and one day they went to a motel in Temecula after an afternoon of heavy drinking, according to the Los Angeles Times. The woman's husband, a Marine chief warrant officer, found out about the night in the motel and reported his wife to authorities.

The military rarely prosecutes adultery cases, but the Times reports it is technically a crime under military law if it undermines "good order and discipline" or brings "discredit upon the armed forces."

Once the case got sent to a court-martial, the woman alleged that she had been too drunk that evening to consent to sex and she said had been raped. A toxicologist in the case testified that the woman had had enough to drink that she was in a "drunken stupor" and could not have consented to sex.

Support for LAist comes from

The woman's allegations of rape weren't taken into account in the verdict directly, according to the Times. The toxicologist's claim that she was too drunk to consent did lessen her charge from "adultery" to "attempted adultery" for going to a motel with another marine. She was also convicted of lying to investigators for saying that she did not attempt to contact the marine after the night in the motel when she contacted him several times. The fact that she lied during the investigation is the reason that the case ultimately went to a court-martial, prosecutors said.

The man, who was not married, was not punished in the case, and he testified that he did not realize that she was married. He also testified that the woman did not appear to be intoxicated at the time, according to the Associated Press.

During closing arguments, prosecutor Maj. Doug Hatch said that she made up a phony rape allegation to get off the hook: "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."

Her defense Capt. Rafiel Warfield said that although his client had lied to investigators, he maintained the incident was sexual assault: "It was not consensual. It wasn't romantic. It wasn't an affair. It was rape."

The woman did not testify in the case, and her name is not being revealed in media reports since she alleged that she was the victim of a sexual assault. The woman was given a letter of reprimand and has to give up $3,000 in pay. The military judge could have sentenced her to a year in the brig and a bad-conduct discharge.