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Korea-based U.S. soldier gets 3 years in prison for rape conviction

SEOUL — A Camp Carroll soldier has been sentenced to three years in prison for raping a South Korean woman at her home last summer.

Pvt. Joseph J. Finley, 31, of the 2-1 Air Defense Artillery Battalion, was convicted in Daegu district court on Feb. 3 on a charge of rape resulting in injury. He had pleaded not guilty and has filed an appeal, according to the 8th Army.

According to court sentencing documents, Finley was drinking alone at an off-post bar at 5:30 a.m. on July 24 when he saw a woman leaving alone. He suggested they continue to drink, and the two went to the woman’s house. It was at the home that the rape took place.

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When questioned, Finley told police the two had consensual sex but the woman was too drunk to remember it. Police said the private’s story changed repeatedly during the investigation, and contradicted testimony from the victim, as well as the bar owner and staff. Finley’s DNA was also found on the victim, who suffered injuries on her genital area, arms and thighs, according to the court document.

Finley had been stationed at Carroll for one year and had no previous criminal history, the documents stated.

His case has garnered far less publicity in South Korea than two other rape cases involving the U.S. military that took place after the July 24 incident.

In November, Pvt. Kevin Lee Flippin was convicted of brutally raping a South Korean teenager in her boarding house, and sentenced to 10 years in prison — the longest sentence given to a U.S. servicemember in South Korea in nearly 20 years. His sentence was upheld during a January appeal.

A third soldier, Pvt. Kevin Robinson, was charged with rape and larceny in December for allegedly attacking a 17-year-old South Korean woman at her home in Seoul and stealing her laptop. A trial date in his case has not been set.

The Flippin case led to an outcry in South Korea against a perceived increase in U.S. servicemember crime that has included anti-American protests and a push to revise the status of forces agreement. The case also was largely responsible for the reinstatement of an off-post curfew in October.

rowlanda@pstripes.osd.mil

chang.yookyong@pstripes.osd.mil

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