Columbia teen recounts alleged rape by Marine Defense calls story a fabrication


A 17-year-old Columbia girl told a Howard Circuit Court jury yesterday that a Marine sergeant repeatedly threatened to kill her if she didn't comply with his demands for sex.

The girl testified in the trial of James Alexander Page Jr., a Greenbelt man charged with more than 30 criminal violations, including 10 counts of first- and second-degree rape.

The victim said the 27-year-old defendant ordered her to have intercourse with him and perform sex acts at a Columbia industrial park in the early morning hours of Aug. 19.

When she refused, Sergeant Page struck her or threatened to kill her, the girl told a jury of eight men and four women.

"I was at the point where I was doing what he wanted because I was afraid of him," said the girl, a student at Oakland Mills High School. "I really didn't have a choice."

But Assistant Public Defender Louis Willemin, who is representing Sergeant Page, said during his opening statement that the girl made up the story about the rape to explain to her parents why she missed curfew.

The trial -- including Mr. Willemin's cross-examination of the victim -- continues today. The name of the girl will not be published.

During about 90 minutes of testimony yesterday, the girl said she met Sergeant Page during a party at a friend's house in Columbia Aug. 18.

The girl admitted that she was intoxicated when she got to the party. She said she had about two glasses of vodka at another friend's house before going to the party.

As her 1 a.m. curfew approached, the girl said, Sergeant Page offered to drive her home. On the way home, Sergeant Page agreed to take the girl to meet her boyfriend, she said.

Instead, Mr. Page took the girl to a former commuter parking lot off U.S. Route 29, where he started becoming violent and making demands for sex, she said.

While at the lot, a man approached the couple and told them to leave, the victim said. She said she didn't ask for help because Sergeant Page had threatened her.

Then Sergeant Page drove the victim to an area called "the cave," a teen hang-out in an industrial park off Broken Land Parkway and Snowden River Parkway in Columbia, the girl said.

The defendant repeatedly forced the girl to have intercourse and perform sex acts with him inside and outside his car, a blue Toyota, she testified.

"I remember him telling me that I was beautiful and that he wanted to marry me," she said. "One minute he was acting really nice . . . and the next minute he was hitting me. I just wanted to get it done and go home."

The victim testified that she fled when Sergeant Page fell asleep in the car's passenger seat. The girl, at the time partially naked, said she ran for nearly two miles to her boyfriend's house for help.

Throughout her testimony, the girl admitted that she didn't recall all details of the incident. "It's all really, really blurred together," she said. "It was probably one of the worst things that ever happened to me."

In other testimony, three high school girls who met Sergeant Page at the party said the defendant touched them or asked them questions about sex.

Sergeant Page, a supervisor of Marine reservists in Washington, is to have a separate trial on charges that he plotted from jail to have the victim killed for $3,000 to prevent her from testifying.

He was charged in December with solicitation to commit murder for conspiring with an undercover state police trooper.

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