Trial begins for Navy sailor
By Valerie Lynn M. Maigue
Pacific Daily News
Navy sailor Doyle Lamont Perry was "at the wrong place at the wrong time," when he was questioned and later arrested in connection with the alleged rape and beating of a woman in May, defense attorney Steven Hattori told jurors yesterday.
But Assistant Attorney General Lewis Littlepage told the jury that the prosecution has strong physical evidence that will show Perry is guilty of the charges against him.
Perry, 27, is accused of raping and assaulting a 47-year-old woman in a beach near Adelup on May 27. His trial started yesterday with opening arguments and the questioning of two witnesses for the prosecution. He faces felony charges of criminal sexual conduct, assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct and other charges. "I'm not going to lie to you, there was an assault that occurred," Hattori told jurors. "But my client was in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Perry is alleged to have driven the victim to the Adelup area in his sedan so they could talk after meeting earlier that evening, court documents state. While in the car, Perry allegedly began to beat the woman, then forcefully removed her from the car onto the sand, where he allegedly continued to beat her before sexually assaulting her. The victim was later discovered by two fishermen that morning.
"The Naval career of this young man is at stake," Hattori said. "He had nothing to hide. He consented to a search of his bunk, his car and his locker. The Guam Police Department and the Naval Criminal Investigation Section led to a wrong conclusion based on a police recruit's assumption."
Hattori explained that the police officer had pulled Perry over at the Mobil gas station across from the Adelup complex on the suspicion that Perry had been driving under the influence. Hattori said the officer, several hours later, reported to Adelup, where two fishermen had reported finding the victim.
"My client has had no prior convictions, no prior arrests, and is not capable of committing this crime," Hattori said. "(The police and investigators) came with a conclusion first, and worked desperately backwards to that conclusion."
Court documents state that police had stopped Perry shortly before the woman was found as he drove out of the Adelup complex around 4:30 a.m. The officer had been conducting a routine traffic stop and noted that Perry had sand on his face and clothing, and appeared to be intoxicated. Perry told the officer he had been playing volleyball at the beach with friends, court documents state. He later recanted his story and told police that he had fallen asleep on the beach, documents state.
Prosecutor Littlepage told jurors they plan to present an abundance of physical evidence.
"There is some evidence that is already here, and some evidence that is off island but will be here Monday," Littlepage said.
Littlepage told jurors that Navy personnel will testify that Perry broke curfew the night the alleged incident occurred.
The trial is scheduled to continue next week in Judge Steven Unpingco's courtroom.