Airman convicted of rape gets six years, dishonorable discharge
OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — An Air Force staff sergeant who was convicted of breaking into an airman’s dorm room and raping her was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison and a dishonorable discharge.
Staff Sgt. Charlie Parker Jr., 30, also was sentenced to reduction to pay grade E-1, the military’s lowest. He was an E-5 and had been in the Air Force for 11 years and 10 months.
Parker, of the 607th Air and Space Communications Squadron, is married to an Air Force staff sergeant, and they have three daughters. He also is the father of a fourth child.
Air Force Col. Steven A. Hatfield, chief military judge for the Pacific Circuit, sentenced Parker after finding him guilty Tuesday of unlawful entry and rape. The incident occurred in the early morning of April 8 in an Osan dormitory.
Parker had opted to be tried by military judge instead of a jury.
The maximum penalty he could have received for the rape conviction was life in prison without parole, reduction to E-1, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and a dishonorable discharge.
In a pre-sentencing argument Wednesday morning, assistant prosecutor Capt. Patrick Schwomeyer asked Hatfield to sentence Parker to forfeiture of all pay and allowances, reduction to E-1, a dishonorable discharge and 20 years in prison.
The prosecutor said Parker was “a violator” who had breached the trust placed in him as a noncommissioned officer and the service’s standards of integrity and honesty.
In addition, Schwomeyer said, Parker violated the victim physically and psychologically.
And Schwomeyer noted that Parker had been court-martialed earlier in his Air Force career for breaking into a dorm room and assaulting an airman, acts for which he was convicted and jailed.
Assistant defense lawyer Capt. Mike Bibbo later told the court the conviction occurred “a decade ago.”
“He is dangerous,” Schwomeyer told Hatfield. “He had his shot at rehabilitation and we see how that turned out … He has graduated from assault to rape. He must be stopped … he should go to jail … .”
The defense asked Hatfield for leniency, asserting that Parker has responsibilities as a father, husband and son of elderly parents.
The court heard Parker’s mother testify through a telephone call in which she said Parker was a good son and devoted father. And Parker’s wife took the witness stand and told Hatfield that Parker was “a great dad” whose children eagerly await his phone calls from South Korea.
Sending Parker to prison “for years and years” would impose “lifetime effects” on his family, Bibbo said. “We ask you not to make your sentence a death sentence for the Parker family.”
Earlier in Wednesday’s proceedings, Parker read an unsworn statement in which he apologized to the victim “for the attention and embarrassment that this has caused” and to his wife for being unfaithful.
“Now I know,” he told Hatfield, “that I stand here before you for what may be the last time in my uniform. … I ask you to consider … most of all the effect of your decision on my family before you decide my fate.”
Parker later was driven to the Camp Humphreys jail.
Lead prosecutor was Maj. Jeffrey A. Ferguson. Lead defense counsel was Capt. Elizabeth M.D. Pullin.