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Former Marine Noel Bertrand guilty in Denver International Airport rape case

9:01 PM, Sep 24, 2012   |    comments
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Noel Bertrand was charged with sexually assaulting a woman he had met at an airport bar in April.

Bertrand's lawyer said in closing arguments Thursday that the woman had rough, consensual sex with Bertrand, then regretted it.

Bertrand said on the stand the victim passed him a suggestive note which initiated the contact. The prosecution claims that's the first time they had heard about such a note. They say Bertrand lied about that detail.

"It's always difficult when you are trying to react to someone being untruthful on the stand," prosecutor Isabel Palleres said. "In this case, it was the defendant that made statements we had never heard before. I think the physical evidence corroborated everything the victim had said."

Bertrand's defense says they aren't obligated to turn over their evidence like the prosecution is.

"He didn't lie about the note," defense attorney Wadi Muhaisen said. "He hadn't shared that previously and it's not common for the defense to give their defense in advance."

The woman testified that after having drinks, the two moved to a concourse, where he attacked her after she refused a kiss.

She told jurors she didn't scream because she was being choked. Two airline mechanics intervened when they saw her struggling.

Bertrand's mother maintained her son's innocence in a statement, Monday afternoon.

"He has always been kind, respectful and a loving man and always wants to help others," Laura Bertrand said. "We continue as a family to support his innocence and we love him dearly. We will continue to pray for him and the best outcome of this whole thing."

Bertrand served on Marine security details at U.S. embassies in Dublin, Ireland; Caracas, Venezuela; and Doha, Qatar.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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