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Marine Acquitted in New Trial on Rape, Attempted Murder Charges

February 20, 1988|Associated Press

QUANTICO, Va. — A Marine Corps jury on Friday acquitted Cpl. Lindsey Scott in his second trial on charges that he sexually assaulted and tried to kill the wife of a fellow Marine in 1983.

Scott, 32, of Louisville, Ky., was convicted on charges of rape, kidnaping, sodomy and attempted murder in 1983 and sentenced to 30 years in prison. That verdict was overturned on July 7 by the U.S. Military Court of Appeals on grounds that Scott had not received adequate counsel.

Although Scott supporters have alleged that racism was involved in the earlier conviction, because he is black and the victim was white, Scott said his feelings for the Marine Corps have not changed.

'Best Branch of the Service'

"The Marines are the best fighting force in the world and the best branch of the service. There were six whites and one black on the jury. If it was racially motivated, I would have been convicted," he said.

During the 17 days of testimony, the defense attacked the Naval Investigation Service's handling of the inquiry. John Leino, one of Scott's civilian attorneys, charged that investigators used an improper lineup and manipulated the victim into identifying Scott.

Maj. Ron McNeil, the Marine prosecutor, said the investigation of the attack was closed.

"We'll probably never know what happened," he said after the verdict. "After almost five years after the facts, the issue is dead."

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