FORT RUCKER, Ala. – An Army officer accused of stalking a former New Jersey National Guard soldier for days and then raping her in her barracks room went on trial in a military court Monday.
First Lt. Mike Hall (search) is accused of raping Jennifer Dyer (search) last August at Camp Shelby, near Hattiesburg, Miss. "He refused to take 'no' for an answer," said prosecutor Capt. Jeffrey Dodson.
But defense attorney Victor Kelley said Dyer, also a first lieutenant at the time, made up the allegation to get out of the Army and avoid duty in Iraq. He questioned why she did not scream for help at the time, or ask for help later when she got a cell phone call from her supervisor.
Hall, 35, of Nashville, Tenn., contends the sex was consensual.
Dyer, 26, testified Monday that she and Hall left the officers club separately, and he followed her back to the barracks about 12:30 a.m. She said he tried to kiss and grope her in the barracks hallway.
"He approached me and told me he was tired of me saying 'No,'" Dyer testified.
She said Hall then forced his way into her barracks room, a few doors from his. She said he pulled off her clothes and raped her twice within an hour while she begged him to stop.
Asked why she didn't scream, she replied: "I couldn't raise my voice. I was so tired from pushing him away."
Asked why she didn't request help when she got the cell phone call, she said, "Lieutenant Hall was still in my room and I was afraid of what he might do."
She testified that she went to her supervisor's room immediately after Hall left and reported the rape.
During cross-examination, the defense attorney focused on Dyer's attempt to resign from the Army in November 2003.
Kelley said she missed her unit's deployment to Iraq because she did not return to Camp Shelby (search) after the end of two weeks of convalescent leave following the rape claim.
"She's using her false allegations as a conduit to get out of her obligation," Kelley said.
He said Dyer renewed her resignation request in December 2004 and was granted an honorable discharge backdated to Aug. 31, 2004.
Dyer has said she went public with her allegations on CBS's "60 Minutes" because Army investigators doubted her story. She testified that she was treated at a hospital and sequestered in a hotel for two days without access to a telephone.
Army Special Agent Eric Barreras, who led the investigation, testified Monday that Dyer's allegations "did not add up" at first, but later evidence supported the charges, including an analysis of Dyer's clothing that showed they were torn off.
Hall has opted for a non-jury trial. A military judge will issue a verdict. There is no minimum sentence for a rape conviction listed in the military code of justice.
Dyer has since married and returned to work in a county sheriff's department in New Jersey.