Saturday, July 08, 2006

Another American charged with rape

While the marathon hearing on the alleged rape of a Zamboangeña by four American servicemen is still being heard at a Makati City regional trial court, a 24-year-old American was arrested in Barangay San Isidro, Cainta, Rizal, after he allegedly conspired with two other Filipinos to illegally detain and gang-rape a 17-year-old girl for four days.

Supt. Gilbert Cruz, Cainta police chief, identified the suspect as Kenneth Olin Saunders Jr., of East Bridge-port Avenue, Washington, D.C.

He was arrested on Friday at his temporary residence at Block 55, Lot 5, Kayumanggi Street, Karangalan Village, Cainta.

Cruz said the police were looking for the two Filipino suspects known only by their nicknames "Bobong" and "Wek-wek," also residents of Barangay San Isidro.

Saunders, during initial investigation, denied raping the victim identified only as "Grace."

"He told us that the rape charge was fabricated because the girl’s parents wanted him to marry their daughter. We’re still getting into the bottom of this," investigators said.

In a statement, the complainant, who is from Barangay Santolan, Pasig City, said that she was detained and repeatedly raped in the house rented by Saunders.

She claimed that she came to know Saunders through two residents who invited her to visit the American.

She said that she escapes while the suspects were having a chat. She immediately reported her ordeal to the police.

Saunders is detained at the Cainta jail while the police are preparing charges of illegal detention and rape.

Four American servicemen are currently facing rape charges in Makati after a 22-year-old, identified only as "Nicole," accused them of raping her on November 1 last year in Subic. Francis Earl A. Cueto with Ruben Manahan IV ABS CBN NEWS

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