A Spokane woman who says an Air Force police sergeant raped her admitted Tuesday that she continued their relationship for months after the alleged assaults.
The mother of three told a court-martial jury that she only filed a complaint about one of the alleged rapes after two of her friends told military investigators about the assault.
A few days later, she initially withdrew the complaint against Master Sgt. Napolean Bailey.
But she insisted she did that because Bailey told her to, and she was afraid of him.
After one rape, the woman said, Bailey told her: “Calling police wouldn’t do any good. He was never going to jail.”
The testimony came in the second day of the military trial at Fairchild Air Force Base. The court-martial continues today.
Bailey, a 39-year-old security policeman, faces 17 counts, including rape, forcible sodomy, assault and kidnapping. He has pleaded innocent to all charges.
The woman, a former community college student who later became a legal secretary, recounted her sometimes violent relationship with Bailey.
Neighbors and friends said they saw bruises on her body from beatings. Others said they saw him push the woman into fences or furniture.
At one point, the two had a fight in the kitchen of the woman’s apartment that was witnessed by one of her children.
“I peeked out and saw Napolean hit Mama on the head with a frying pan,” the girl, now 8, said from the witness stand.
“I heard my mom scream, and he said, ‘Shut up.’ My mom took the pan and hit him, and she bit him.”
In her testimony, the woman denied hitting Bailey with the pan but admitted biting him during the fight.
In early 1995, two of the woman’s college classmates reported an assault to Air Force investigators. After the woman gave investigators a statement, Bailey was relieved of duty during the investigation and ordered to have no contact with her.
She said Bailey came to her and dictated a retraction that she sent to his commander, Col. Dennis Hunsinger. She said she purposely failed to sign it, and when Hunsinger called to say it needed a signature, she never sent in a signed copy.
Hunsinger testified that the woman called him to ask how the nocontact order could be lifted.
“She said she had made the whole thing up and that they had reconciled,” Hunsinger said. Although the first copy she sent was unsigned, she later complied with a request to send a signed copy, he added.
At that point, Bailey was returned to duty, Hunsinger said.
“She had recanted her statement, and we had no place to go with the investigation,” he said.
Under questioning from Capt. Beth Townsend, Bailey’s attorney, the woman admitted she told investigators she was withdrawing the complaint of her own free will and that she began seeing Bailey again. They reconciled, and Bailey spent Christmas with her and her family.
“Isn’t it true there was a time when you called him and asked him to reconcile?” Townsend asked. “Didn’t you call him and tell him that you loved him?”
“Yes,” the woman said.
Prosecutors are expected to call witnesses later in the trial who will describe the psychological conditions that prevent some women from leaving relationships with abusive men.