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Marine Recruiters Accused In Rape, Beating

Mon., June 23, 1997

A couple on a camping trip inadvertently pitched their tent in the middle of a Marine Corps bivouac where they say two sergeants attacked them, beating the man and raping the woman.

Both soldiers were arrested and charged with assault, kidnapping and rape, said Lt. Cliff Gilmore of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego.

The Corps is investigating the incident but Gilmore declined to give any details pending arraignment of the two Marines, scheduled for Monday afternoon in The Dalles.

Sgt. Rudolph Jackson, 29, of Gresham, a Marine recruit administrator, and Sgt. Clinton Allan Bergmann, 24, of Vancouver, Wash., a recruiter, were being held at the Wasco County jail in The Dalles.

“The incident is very serious. We are taking it in that approach. I want to convey to you that this is not common behavior and we take it very seriously,” said Capt. Robert Rice, a spokesman for the Marine Corps recruiting office in Portland.

Henry Thompson, 33, said he and a woman friend were attacked after they set up their tent at Clear Lake Campground in the Mount Hood National Forest.

Thompson and his 23-year-old friend arrived late Friday and had to pitch their tent in the dark, but learned they had camped in the middle of a Marine Corps recruitment outing.

“It was an official Marine outing,” said Deputy Bill Lennox of the Wasco County sheriff’s office. Thirty Marines were camped out with 150 recruits at the end of “River Strike IV,” an annual rafting and camping trip. About 15 of the recruits were women.

Thompson said that he and his friend sat around a campfire with several Marines. “They told us we were the safest people on Earth because they had 180 Marines up there,” he said Saturday night.

Thompson said he and his friend went to their own tent after the men started drinking heavily. They were passing around a bottle of rum.

Later in the night, he said, he was awakened by a noise and confronted by a man he identified as Jackson.

“I opened the door to the tent, and Jackson was standing there with a flashlight pointed right in my eyes,” Thompson said. “Before I could say anything, they had the tape around my eyes, my face, my nose … Jackson was saying ‘Shoot ‘em, just shoot ‘em.”’

Thompson said Jackson beat him severely, covered his eyes with thick, green tape and taped him to a tree, while another man dragged his friend into the bushes.


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