View Full Version : Coast Guard Cadet aquitted of Rape, but nailed for other sexual crimes

Jun 28th, 2006, 01:55 PM
this boy must have been a smoothe talker, eh? shit, how does one get away with this much mischief?

Coast Guard Cadet Acquitted of Rape Charge

NEW LONDON, Conn. (1010 WINS) -- A Coast Guard Academy cadet was acquitted of rape but convicted of several other crimes Tuesday in the first court-martial of a student in the school's 130-year history.

After about eight hours of deliberations, a military jury found Webster M. Smith, 23, of Houston, guilty of indecent assault, extortion, sodomy, failure to obey an order and absent without leave.

Smith was stoic as the verdict was read but wept afterward with his parents and lawyers by his side. One of his accusers quickly left the courtroom after the verdict was read, also crying.

The small courtroom was packed with some of the accusers, Coast Guard Academy employees and Smith's friends and relatives.

Smith faces up to 13{ years in prison, but his attorney said he will argue for little or no jail time.

``There is certainly a degree of disappointment, but most certainly we feel that the court was listening and clearly heard what we had to say,'' said defense attorney Merle Smith, who is not related to the cadet.

Prosecutors said Webster Smith was a predator who took advantage of women when they were vulnerable.

The allegations were brought by four female cadets. The jury acquitted him of sexual misconduct charges involving three of the female cadets.

The rape case involved Smith's on-again, off-again girlfriend, who said she drank two bottles of wine at a party in Annapolis, Md., last summer and can't remember anything. She said she learned the next morning that they had had sex.

Smith testified Monday that the sex was consensual. He said the woman had been drinking but wasn't drunk when they had sex in his car outside a bar. Prosecutors say the sex happened much later that night, when she was passed out.

The indecent assault, extortion and sodomy charges of which Smith was convicted stemmed from allegations by one of the other women.

That woman described a night in which she and Smith had a series of sexual encounters in her dorm room. The woman said she never protested because she was relying on Smith to keep a secret involving a crime that could have jeopardized her career.

Prosecutors said Smith held that secret over her, extorting her for sexual favors.

Smith said that he never mentioned the secret and that the two had consensual oral sex.