A widow who says she plans to marry Marine Pfc. Robert Garwood testified yesterday that the convicted Vietnam collaborator went to Charlottesville, Va., to visit a psychiatrist last August at the time he is accused of sexually molesting a 7-year-old girl.
Donna Long's testimony came after the prosecution rested its case, and defense lawyer Vaughan Taylor told jurors he would prove "the incident described by [the child] could not have happened with Bobby Garwood." Eight witnesses corroborated Long's testimony.
The case is expected to go to the jury today after the defense questions three more witnesses, including two psychiatrists.
Garwood, 35, was convicted by a military jury in February of collaborating with the enemy while a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. He had spent 14 years in Vietnamese prison camps.
The girl, now 8, testified Wednesday that Garwood molested her after taking her to an ice cream store in his car. She said they drove to a dirt road and that he fondled her, forced her to fondle him and tried to rape her and make her have oral sex with him.
The girl's father said the incident occurred between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Aug. 7. But Long, with whom Garwood has lived for about a year, said Garwood spent that day in proceedings that led to his court-martial at nearby Camp Lejeune and working on military orders.
She said he left her house on a motorcycle for Charlottesville at about 5 p.m., leaving his car in her driveway because of mechanical problems. She said the car was still there when she left for the beach about an hour later.
Taylor said testimony showed that it is a six-hour drive from Jacksonville to Charlottesville and that Garwood called Long's house from Charlottesville about 11 p.m.
Among the eight other witnesses confirming Garwood's trip to Virginia was a Charlottesville man who said he saw Garwood at his apartment about 11:30 p.m. Aug. 7.