Military Jury In Aberdeen Rape Trial Will Resume Deliberations Today

April 26, 1997|By Scott Wilson | Scott Wilson,SUN STAFF

The military jury in Staff Sgt. Delmar G. Simpson's rape case recessed at 5 p.m. yesterday, after spending nine hours behind closed doors sorting through 54 criminal counts against the Aberdeen Proving Ground drill instructor.

The panel of five men and one woman, all of higher rank than Simpson, was to reconvene at 8 a.m. today. Four of six jurors must agree on Simpson's guilt to convict him on each count.

Simpson, 32, faces 19 rape allegations and 35 other charges in a case that helped prompt a militarywide investigation of sexual harassment in the ranks. He has pleaded guilty to having sex with 11 female trainees -- including five of the six women the Army says he raped -- and to sexually pursuing five other soldiers.

Simpson, who will likely testify at his sentencing hearing, could be sentenced to 32 years in prison on the charges to which he already has pleaded guilty. If convicted of a single rape count, Simpson could spend the rest of his life in prison.

The military judge ruled yesterday that Simpson, who has been locked up since being charged in September, will receive confinement credit for time served. The credit would be about 13 months to date.

Pub Date: 4/26/97

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