Army sergeant in South Korea sentenced to three years for rape, assault
January 11, 2009
A U.S. Army sergeant was sentenced to three years in South Korean prison Friday for beating and raping a woman last summer in a Dongducheon alley.
But Seoul Central District Court Judge Lee Gwang-man ruled that Sgt. Jonathan Kim did not rob the woman during the attack, and he dropped that charge. The robbery charge could have added up to seven more years on the sentence.
The 71 days that Kim has been confined will be credited toward the sentence, according to Lee.
Kim made no statement in court Friday.
After the trial, his father, Kim Young-jin, said, “I kind of expected this sentence.”
He said he’s going to urge his son to appeal the sentence. Court officials said that Kim has one week to file an appeal.
The soldier’s father said he hopes the family will be able to make a financial settlement with the woman, 22, who has refused to accept any payment. In previous court proceedings, Kim apologized for the attack.
Kim, who joined the Army in 2004, deposited 5 million won — about $3,800 — with the court for the woman in case she changes her mind, according to the judge.
In South Korea, defendants in criminal cases often reach financial settlements with their alleged victims in exchange for a lighter prison sentence, though the settlements are not considered an admission of guilt.
Kim also has made financial settlements with two women he allegedly assaulted in August in Seoul, his father has told Stripes.
The women, both 21, withdrew their complaints against Kim, meaning he won’t be tried in those cases.