Four U.S. Marines accuse of rape in Philippines

Four U.S. Marines will be charged in connection with the alleged rape of a woman, Philippine prosecutors said Tuesday, while two others were cleared for lack of evidence. Prosecutor Prudencio Jalandoni said he would ask a regional trial court in Olongapo, near where the alleged rape took place on Nov. 1, later Tuesday to issue arrest warrants and seek jurisdiction over the four Americans, who are in the U.S. Embassy's custody.

The Americans have denied participating in or witnessing the incident, which allegedly took place inside a van at Subic Bay free port, a former U.S. naval base northwest of Manila. At least one of the Americans has acknowledged having sex with the woman but claimed it was consensual, Jalandoni said.

Jalandoni said he would also charge the Filipino driver of the van who was first seen as a key witness but was later considered as a "co-conspirator." The driver provided the van and apparently did nothing to stop the alleged rape, he said.

U.S. Embassy officials have said they would cooperate with the Philippine government in the investigation but haven't indicated if they would agree to transfer the Marines to Philippine custody, reports the AP. I.L.

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