GI convicted of rape in South Korea files final appeal
Stars and Stripes
SEOUL — A U.S. soldier has filed a final appeal to have his rape conviction and six-year prison sentence reconsidered, the South Korean Supreme Court said Thursday.
Pvt. Kevin Robinson was convicted this year of raping a 17-year-old South Korean in her home in September 2011 after a night of drinking, then stealing her laptop. The Seoul High Court upheld the sentence last week, despite Robinson’s claim that they only had consensual oral sex.
A Supreme Court spokesman said the court was not allowed to release documents related to the appeal, filed earlier this week.
Robinson’s case was nearly derailed by the victim’s refusal to testify. She finally agreed to testify in his appeal, but only via video feed from a separate courtroom. She said she had been a virgin, had passed out before the pre-dawn attack and did not realize she had been raped until she came home from school that night and saw blood on a blanket and the underwear she had been wearing.
Robinson’s attorney argued there was no evidence that Robinson raped her. He also claimed she may have been menstruating at the time, and that her bloodied underwear had been contaminated as evidence when she put it in a laundry basket.
Robinson told judges he had been treated unfairly by the Korean judicial system, and that authorities had presumed he was guilty.
High court judges said they found his testimony unconvincing.
Robinson’s case was one of two rapes in fall 2011 that led to the reinstatement of a nighttime curfew for U.S. Forces Korea troops.
Defendants in South Korea have the right to appeal a case twice.