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Marine accused of attacking Navy shipmate

Assault said to have included severe biting

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Navy officials said Friday that a United States Marine sergeant is being held in detention on the USS Bonhomme Richard because he's alleged to have raped, beaten and severely bitten a female shipmate on a beach in Thailand earlier this week.

The shipmate, a Navy sailor, was found naked on the beach with her nose bitten off and serious bite marks on her face, Navy officials said.

Naval authorities are not releasing the names of the two people.

Witnesses said the Marine appeared to be intoxicated at the time of the incident and attacked several people who tried to rescue the woman.

The Marine sergeant was arrested by Thai authorities on the southern resort island of Phuket and was turned over to U.S. Navy officials.

The sailor is in a hospital and will be transported to the USS Bonhomme Richard for additional treatment before being transported to San Diego, California. The ship remains in port at Phuket Island, which is in the Andaman Sea.

Her wounds are not life-threatening, according to a Navy spokesman.

The Marine is to be held on the ship for an undetermined amount of time and will most likely face a court martial, Navy officials said.

The sailor and Marine were off duty at the time of the incident, but were in Thailand and deployed from the ship as part of a combined, joint training exercise involving military forces from the United States, Thailand and Singapore. That exercise is named "Cobra Gold 2002."




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