Army sergeant drops to E-4 for off-post offenses
August 2, 2007
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — A 275th Signal Company soldier was sentenced to a reduction in rank Tuesday for offenses committed during an off-post incident earlier this year.
Sgt. Donyea Foster was convicted during a general court-martial on Monday of disobeying an order, and drunk and disorderly conduct. He was found not guilty of rape and indecent act charges stemming from an unrelated incident that occurred in January.
A seven-member court-martial panel sentenced Foster to a reduction in rank to E-4, forfeiture of $989 a month for three months, 60 days’ restriction and 90 days’ hard labor without confinement.
According to court testimony, Foster — who was restricted to base while being investigated in connection with the alleged rape — went to an Itaewon club with a group of friends on Feb. 28.
When Foster and his friends left the club that night, he was approached by military police, who had been told he had punched a South Korean taxi driver.
Two female military police soldiers testified Monday that Foster refused to provide his military identification card, became argumentative and demanded they stand at parade rest while speaking to him because he outranked them.
Prosecutors had asked the jury to sentence Foster to a reduction to E-2 and 30 days’ confinement after saying he was “someone who wears the stripes of an NCO but doesn’t act like it.”
Defense attorneys asked the panel for a sentence of reduction to E-4 and 30 days’ hard labor.
Prior to deliberating for about two hours, the panel heard an unsworn statement from the defendant.
Foster talked about his upbringing in a single-parent home and about his love of the military and his daughter, at one point breaking into tears.
“I am very disappointed in myself,” Foster said. “I have put myself in a bad situation that has haunted me since January.”