May 17, 1997 in City

Hearing Previews Court-Martial At Fairchild Jury Selection Expected To Begin On Monday

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Napolean Bailey will be painted by military prosecutors as a manipulative, dangerous man who drew women into relationships, then beat and raped them.

“He groomed these victims. He attempted to control every aspect of their lives,” said Capt. Eric Dillow, one of three prosecutors in the court-martial of the Fairchild Air Force Base master sergeant.

Defense attorneys will argue Bailey and the women were in normal, consensual relationships, and no such pattern of abuse exists.

One of the alleged victims even lived with him after the alleged rape took place, and was engaged to him when she was transferred overseas, said Capt. Beth Townsend.

The two conflicting views of the security policeman were presented Friday as attorneys prepared for Bailey’s court-martial by arguing about which witnesses should testify.

Bailey faces 17 separate counts that include assault, rape, forced sodomy and kidnapping involving three women - two civilians and an Air Force enlisted member. He has pleaded innocent to all counts.

The 39-year-old sergeant sat quietly in his dress blue uniform during the pretrial hearing, occasionally shaking his head slightly when prosecutors described him as a rapist and stalker.

Sitting directly across from the prosecution table, with two attorneys at his side, Bailey answered questions from military judge Col. Willard Pope with a quiet “Yes, sir” or “No, sir.”

Jury selection will begin Monday for the trial, which could take two weeks.

Prosecutors may try to show the victims as suffering from psychological trauma that made it difficult for them to report Bailey’s actions, Friday’s hearing indicated. Defense attorneys may question the victims on the kind of drugs they have taken that may affect their memory.

Attorneys for both sides are under an order from Pope not to discuss the case with the media. Friday’s hearing was the first detailed look at the case against Bailey, who was arrested in March.

Among the potential witnesses prosecutors hope to call is Bailey’s former wife.

Capt. Chris Santoro, a prosecutor, said the couple’s five-year relationship grew into one in which Bailey exercised increasing control over his wife’s choice of clothes, friends and activities.

That led to sexual abuse, Santoro said.

Other witnesses can give similar reports, establishing a pattern to Bailey’s conduct, he said.

But defense attorney Townsend argued the women’s stories are so different, there is no pattern. The witnesses would unfairly prejudice the jury, she said.

“The defense will elicit testimony from women who were in long-term relationships that did not end in this manner,” Townsend said.

Complicating the trial is a relatively new rule, set by Congress, regarding evidence in federal rape cases. Under that rule, prosecutors can discuss an accused rapist’s background.

But a separate rule protects rape victims from being forced to reveal their sexual history.

Townsend argued the difference between the two rules puts Bailey at a disadvantage that is unconstitutional.

Congress decided the information about a defendant’s past is relevant, replied Pope. “I’m not a legislator. I’m merely a judge.”

Pope ruled that testimony will be permitted about alleged assaults of two women who are not part of the charges against Bailey. Each occurred more than five years ago, which is the statute of limitations under military law.

Prosecutors also will be allowed to call witnesses who will describe assaults, some threats by Bailey and his forcible entry into a woman’s apartment, Pope ruled. But other alleged threats will not be admitted.

, DataTimes MEMO: See related story under the headline: Fairchild case study in military justice

See related story under the headline: Fairchild case study in military justice

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