US soldier arrested in Azores, suspected of rape and attempted murder

A 27-year-old US soldier is to appear before magistrates after a Portuguese woman claims he repeatedly raped and then tried to kill her near the Lajes air force base on Terceira island, Azores.

According to reports, the young man has been stationed in Portugal for some time, and was about to “terminate his service commission”.

He “took advantage of the fact that he knew” the Portuguese woman, a statement by PJ explains, “and convinced her to accept a lift in his vehicle, taking her against her wishes to an isolated spot where he raped and assaulted her”.

“He then took her to another spot, near the coast, where he raped her again, attacked her with a weapon and tried to drown her”, said the statement.

The reason for the attempt at drowning was to ensure his alleged victim did not speak out against him, claims the PJ.

As it was, the woman “managed to get away, and ask help from a third party who was close by”, PJ coordinator João Oliveira has told Lusa news agency.

Oliveira confirmed that there “had been a relationship” between the soldier and the Portuguese woman.

The suspected crime “is not of a military nature”, he stressed, and as such the US authorities “have shown total availability” to work with the PJ.

The man is expected to be charged with rape, kidnap, offenses to physical integrity and attempted murder, say newspapers.

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