Hazel filed rape charges against Hopstock at the Naha District Public Prosecutor’s Office. Between April 10 and May 16, Hazel was asked to appear at the said prosecutor’s office three times. On May 16, the case was dismissed for ‘insufficient evidence.’
The Philippine consulate in Okinawa provided a lawyer for the victim a mere three days before the last hearing.
On February 24, 2009, the US court martial dismissed for “lack of sufficient evidence” the rape charges against Hopstock.
Coddler of rapists
Joms Salvador, spokesperson of Gabriela, said the cases of Nicole and Hazel show that the US government is a coddler of rapists.
Salvador said, “Smith was given free board and lodging at the US Embassy. Hopstock has been acquitted by their court.”
Salvador admitted they did not pin their hopes on the US court martial for Hazel’s case. “We know that it will be hard to attain justice from their own court. The US government will always protect its troops.”
Lawyer Evalyn Ursua, Nicole’s counsel, said that Nicole is a symbol of what the US government does to the country.
Ursua recounted, “Tinapon [nila si Nicole] sa gilid ng daan. Itinapon hawak ang dalawang paa at kamay. Parang baboy. Nakalilis ang damit, nakababa ang pantalon. Ang condom, nakasabit sa panty.” (They threw her at the side of the road. While doing so, they held her by her hands and feet, like holding a pig. Her shirt was open, her pants pulled down, a condom hanging from her undies.)
“Laruan ang tingin nila [ng mga Amerikanong sundalo] sa atin. Tayo’y mga baboy na pwede nilang gamitin,” Ursua said. (To them, we are mere toys, pigs that could be used anytime.)
“Lahat ng klase ng pang-aabuso, ginagawa ng US troops,” (US troops do all kinds of abuses.) the lawyer said.
“The presence of US troops is a concrete manifestation of US intervention in our internal affairs,” said Ursua.