A military jury met for more than five hours in a third day of deliberations yesterday but failed to return a verdict in the rape trial of Staff Sgt. Delmar G. Simpson and recessed until tomorrow morning.

Panel members asked for a re-reading of the testimony of one witness -- a soldier said to have had a sexual relationship with one of Simpson's six alleged rape victims. The military judge, Col. Paul Johnston, recessed the proceedings because a transcript of the testimony was not available yesterday.

The soldier, Pfc. David Watson, who testified last week for the prosecution, denied any sexual contact with the 20-year-old private from Pennsylvania whom Simpson is accused of raping twice in his office last summer. Watson also testified that the female soldier described to him one of the alleged incidents in graphic detail but never used the word "rape."

Simpson, 32, faces 19 counts of rape and 35 other charges in the biggest case of the Aberdeen Proving Ground sex scandal. While denying the rape charges, Simpson has admitted having consensual sex with six female trainees, including five of the soldiers he is accused of raping.

Simpson acknowledged a sexual relationship with the 20-year-old private -- a trainee who testified in the trial that Simpson exposed himself and then had sex with her while she was pinned against the file cabinet in his office.

But two defense witnesses who trained with the private challenged her story in testimony last week.

Pub Date: 4/27/97

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