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An Air Force officer accused of raping four men and attempting to rape two others is guilty only of being gay in the military, a defense attorney told a court-martial jury during closing arguments Monday.
Capt. Devery L. Taylor, 38, violated the military's ''don't ask, don't tell'' policy, which bars people who are openly gay and lesbian from serving in the armed forces, said his private defense attorney, Martin Regan.
''My client is an admitted homosexual involved in consensual homosexual relationships, and let's let the military deal with it in the right forum, not in a court-martial,'' Regan said.
Four of the men had consensual sex with Taylor and lied to protect their military careers, while a fifth wanted to join the Navy and feared being identified as gay, Regan said.
A sixth man, who is openly gay, forced Taylor to have sex with him but later told investigators he was raped because he feared being charged with rape himself, Regan said.
Military prosecutors described Taylor as a serial rapist who met men in bars, spiked their drinks with the ''date-rape drug'' gamma- hydroxybutyrate (GHB), and kidnapped them.
''Being known to the world as a male rape victim is not fun. It is hard for them to sit up straight. If they are concerned about their military careers, why say anything?'' said military prosecutor Maj. Kathleen Reder.
Taylor, a medic and the former chief of patient administration at Eglin Regional Hospital in Florida, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole if convicted. He is charged with two counts of attempted sodomy, four counts of forcible sodomy, three counts of kidnapping, and one count of unlawful entry.
The military jury was scheduled to begin deliberations Tuesday. (Melissa Nelson, AP)