AN American sailor working for the US Navy in the Virginia Beach-based Navy SEALs is on trial over raping a Peace Corps volunteer teacher in a Kampala hotel.
Camaren Walker faced a preliminary hearing on Thursday and Friday to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to prosecute him in a court-martial. A decision is expected in a few weeks, according to the online Virginia-Pilot.
If Walker is court-martialed and convicted, he faces a range of possible penalties up to life in prison and death.
The proceedings at Norfolk Naval Station last week featured a graphic and emotional testimony from Walkerâ€™s accuser, a 26-year-old woman who teaches at a girlsâ€™ school in a remote town in northern Uganda.
The incident reportedly occurred in November in Kampala, while Walker, a builder, was assigned to a construction project for a SEAL team.
Walkerâ€™s accuser testified that what began as a consensual sexual encounter in Walkerâ€™s hotel room turned violent after she insisted that he uses a condom.
He reluctantly did so, she said, but after it came off twice, she asked Walker to stop. Instead, he used force, she added.
â€œI tried to get away, but I couldnâ€™t,â€ she said. â€œThe next thing there was a hand around my neck.â€
Walker was choking her, pinning her head to the mattress and making it difficult to breathe, she testified.
â€œI was very fearful of my life,â€ she added. â€œI didnâ€™t want to be choked again. So I let him have his way,â€ she said.
According to the testimony, the accuser met Walker on a night-out with three other young women, all American Peace Corps volunteers.
The three other women testified for the defence, two of them by telephone from Uganda. At one point during the evening in Kampala, the conversation turned to how long it had been since each of the four women had sex.
It was determined that Walkerâ€™s accuser had been abstinent the longest - two years. That led to a consensus that she should pair up with him for the night.
â€œThe girls decided I needed it the most,â€ the accuser testified. â€œThey kept pressuring me.â€