[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
US soldier jailed for rape in South Korea
Court sentences soldier to 10 years in prison for "sadistic and perverted" rape of teenage girl.
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2011 08:33
 

A South Korean court has jailed a US soldier to 10 years in prison for the "sadistic and perverted" rape of a teenager in a case which has prompted an apology from a top US diplomat.

The private was sentenced on Tuesday for raping the 18-year-old multiple times in an attack in the city of Dongducheon, which hosts the US Second Infantry Division base and is near the border with North Korea.

"As the accused satisfied his sexual desire in a sadistic and perverted manner for three hours, the victim suffered fear and humiliation," the court said in its judgement quoted by Yonhap news agency.

"The accused should be given stern punishment."

It said the 21-year-old soldier entered a low-budget dorm-style room early on September 24 and sexually assaulted and tormented the victim, threatening her with a pair of scissors.

He then robbed her of 5,000 won ($4.50) before running away, said the court in the city of Uijeongbu, north of Seoul.

The case, along with a separate rape allegation by a teenage girl against another US soldier, prompted top US military and government officials to offer public apologies.

High-level apologies

Kurt Campbell, a visiting US assistant secretary of state, last month offered an apology to the Korean people for "the tragic and inexcusable rape".

The US military also apologised and imposed a month-long late-night curfew on its troops in the country.

The court ordered the soldier to undergo 80 hours of counselling and his personal information to be made public on a South Korean government website for 10 years, a court spokesman said. The court didn't immediately release the soldier's name.

Prosecutors had demanded a 15-year prison term. The court, however, decided on only a 10-year sentence because the soldier had repented, was still young and the rape was his first crime, the spokesman said.

Both prosecutors and the soldier have one week to appeal.

About 28,500 US troops are stationed in South Korea, and crimes involving them have caused anti-American sentiments among many South Koreans.

In 2002, the acquittals of two American soldiers whose armoured vehicle ran over and killed two South Korean schoolgirls during training prompted massive nationwide protests against the US military presence in the country.

Tuesday's sentencing is the longest prison term for an American soldier stationed in South Korea since 1993, when a US soldier was sentenced to life in prison for murdering a South Korean bar employee, according to the foreign ministry.

His life sentence was later reduced to 15 years, and the soldier was eventually released in 2006.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.