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Witness list expands in Philippine rape incident

Date Posted: 2005-11-24

Philippine government prosecutors continue building their case against six American servicemen charged with raping a young Filipina woman.

Sources in Manila and Olongapo City say three more witnesses are being interviewed in the case brought by a 22-year-old woman accusing six U.S. Marines with raping her. The latest people brought into the case are a receptionist and a pair of security guards at the Neptume Disco Bar, where the woman allegedly was picked up by her attackers.

The six, all members of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Force on Okinawa, have been identified as Dominic Duplantis, Corey Burris, Daniel Smith, Albert Lara, Chad Carpenter and Keith Silkwood.

Attorneys familiar with the case say the latest witness statements identify the Marines as the ones taking the woman from the disco and into a green van. The van driver, Timoteo Soriano, has identified five of the suspects as being in the van with the woman. Officials arenít explaining how Duplantis fits into the case, since he reportedly was not in the van, where the assault occurred.

On another note, attorneys for Albert Lara are filing papers to have him dropped from the criminal complaint. An attorney says Lara doesnít meet the any of the descriptions of suspects filed by the victim, and adds Lara contends heís innocent.

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