Army private in Korea gets 15 months, discharge for barracks incident
February 17, 2005
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — A 20-year-old Army private was sentenced Tuesday to 15 months of confinement and a dishonorable discharge after he pleaded guilty to breaking into a barracks room and assaulting another soldier.
Pfc. Jonathan W. Goetzcke, currently stationed at Camp Long, pleaded guilty to entering a barracks room at Camp Colbern in September and trying to get in bed with a female soldier. Goetzcke also pleaded guilty to underage drinking; he was 19 at the time of the Sept. 27 incident.
The judge, Marine Lt. Col. “Doc” Daugherty, also sentenced Goetzcke to the Army’s lowest pay grade and ordered that his pay be forfeited during his confinement.
Goetzcke apologized for his actions and said alcoholism contributed to his behavior. Goetzcke had been participating in a substance abuse program. But he added that his friends, a recent breakup with his fiancée and the isolation at Camp Colbern, a small base outside of Seoul, contributed to his drinking habits.
He told Daugherty he had eight shots of the liquor Jagermeister that night and blacked out. Still, the Oklahoma native agreed to plead guilty based on others’ statements in the case, he told the judge.
“I entered a room without permission,” he said in court Tuesday morning. “I was told to get out and I didn’t get out.”
According to Goetzcke, on Sept. 27 he entered the barracks room, tried to get in bed three times with a female soldier and then covered her mouth when she screamed for help. Her husband ran in and took Goetzcke back to his room, Goetzcke told the judge.
The 22-year-old female soldier told Daugherty she attended counseling for three months after the incident, had problems concentrating at work and still can’t sleep through the night.
“I don’t feel safe,” she said Tuesday morning. “I have the door locked all the time.”
Goetzcke had faced three years of confinement for the crimes.