Pacific edition, Thursday, July 12, 2007

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A Marine staff sergeant lost a stripe Tuesday after being convicted of sodomy and adultery.

The charges against Staff Sgt. Martin Buck, 37, stemmed from an incident in January when he spent a night of heavy drinking on Okinawa city’s Gate Two Street with a 23-year-old Army specialist that ended with sex in her barracks room on Torii Station.

Buck, a 13-year Marine veteran assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment at Camp Pendleton, Calif., was on deployment with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit when the incident occurred. He was found not guilty of raping the soldier, but guilty of forcible sodomy.

Capt. Timothy Aoyagi, one of two prosecutors in the case, argued that Buck should be kicked out of the Marine Corps.

After the soldier testified that she felt Buck had taken advantage of her and the incident lowered her opinion of staff noncommissioned officers and the Marines, Aoyagi said Buck had “betrayed the integrity” that his rank merited.

Capt. Jennifer Herrmann, Buck’s lawyer, countered that the staff sergeant had a spotless record and his actions that night were an aberration.

She said the federal felony conviction was punishment enough.

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