US lawyer says men cried rape to hide being gay in military

Anthony Cuesta | February 26, 2007

MIAMI, Florida — Four men lied about being raped and drugged by an Air Force officer to avoid being discovered as gay in the military, a defense attorney told a military jury Tuesday.

According to the Miami Herald, Capt. Devery L. Taylor, former chief of patient administration at Eglin Regional Hospital, is gay and engaged in consensual sex with the men he is accused of raping, attorney Martin Regan said during opening arguments in Taylor's court-martial.

Taylor, 38, is accused of raping four men. Two others accuse him of attempted rape.

He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole if convicted of all the charges against him. The charges are two counts of attempted sodomy, four counts of forcible sodomy, three counts of kidnapping and one count of unlawful entry, reports the Herald.

'This case is about homosexual activity that is not approved of by the military services in our country at this time. Every one of these individuals but one is either in the military service or wants to be in the service,' Regan said, reports the Herald.

Under the military's 'don't ask don't tell' policy, military members who are openly gay are subject to discharge.

Four of the men were in the military when they met Taylor and a fifth feared that disclosing his relationship with Taylor would ruin his chances of pursing a Navy career, said Regan, who said Taylor would testify about his relationships with the men.

According to the Associated Press, prosecutor Capt. Eveylon Westbrook, who described Taylor as a serial rapist, said he met his victims in bars, spiked their drinks with the "date-rape drug" gamma-hydroxybutyrate, or GHB, and kidnapped them.

"Each victim will tell you they felt like they were drugged before he either assaulted or attempted to assault them," she said, reports the AP.

The Herald reports that a Pensacola paramedic later testified that he and Taylor were friends and had consensual sex on a previous occasion before the two met again at a bar in July 2004. The man said that he had one beer and that Taylor then bought him a shot, which caused him to become extremely ill.

He said that he woke up in Taylor's home and that Taylor raped him repeatedly, but that he couldn't fight Taylor because he felt drugged.

"My brain knew what was going on, but my body just wouldn't cooperate," he said, reports the Herald.

Col. Thomas Cumbie, the military judge, turned down a defense request Tuesday to limit testimony about GHB. The AP reports that defense attorneys said that its effects were similar to that of alcohol and that none of the victims had traces of the drug in their bodies, but Cumbie said the symptoms were common among all the victims – Issued by Gay Link Content

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