Colorado

Apr 8, 2010 1:02 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Fort Carson soldier cleared of rape charge

A Fort Carson soldier has been cleared in a court martial that accused him of sexually assaulting the wife of a man he had met while deployed in Iraq in 2008.

Spc. Philip C. Vermeiren, 28, was found not guilty on all charges Wednesday after a two-day trial.

The prosecution accused Vermeiren of the "ultimate betrayal of a battle buddy," saying he assaulted the woman Oct. 30 while her husband stepped out to buy cigarettes. Vermeiren's defense argued that the woman concocted the assault story to avoid being beaten by her husband for infidelity.

The 10-soldier jury also heard from an El Paso County sheriff's detective who said the accuser fabricated a separate rape claim in 2008.

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