AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy — An airman assigned to the 31st Maintenance Squadron was sentenced to 11 months in prison Monday after pleading guilty to aggravated assault in a special court-martial.

Lt. Col. Jennifer Cline, the military judge, also sentenced Airman James J. Allen to a reduction in rank to E-1 and a bad-conduct discharge for his assault on a female airman in his dorm room on base in September.

The prosecution and defense had a pretrial agreement in which Allen agreed to plead guilty in front of a military judge. In return, a potential charge of indecent assault wasn’t brought forward and the trial was limited to a special court-martial, which limits the maximum confinement to one year.

Allen pleaded guilty to biting the female airman multiple times on her arms, breasts and lip and slamming her head against the floor multiple times. The 21-year-old testified that he had had too much to drink that day and doesn’t remember any of the attack.

“After about two shots, I don’t remember anything else,” he told Cline during questioning.

The two airmen had begun the afternoon together in the female airman’s dorm room and testimony revealed that Allen had four or five shots of brandy and half a bottle of wine before both of them went to his dorm room to play a drinking game with cards. The female airman is not identified in keeping with Stars and Stripes’ policy of not publishing the names of assault victims in such cases.

The two airmen played cards and drank shots from a tequila bottle that the female airman had brought. She then went to use the bathroom. Allen was waiting in the doorway of his bedroom when she finished and started to show her “martial-arts” moves. She fell to the floor while resisting and he fell on top of her. He then proceeded to bite her left arm several times through her T-shirt before moving to her right breast, where his bite partially severed her nipple. She later required treatment at an Italian hospital in Treviso and has several scars on her body almost seven months after the attack.

The victim testified during the sentencing phase that Allen continued to bite her and then repeatedly slammed her head on the floor. She eventually got loose and talked her way out of his room.

Allen also pleaded guilty to violating a noncontact order with the victim that his commander had put into place. Allen testified he waited about an hour to leave a club in Aviano that the two were both at during a night in February.

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Kent has filled numerous roles at Stars and Stripes including: copy editor, news editor, desk editor, reporter/photographer, web editor and overseas sports editor. Based at Aviano Air Base, Italy, he’s been TDY to countries such as Afghanistan Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia. Born in California, he’s a 1988 graduate of Humboldt State University and has been a journalist for almost 38 years.

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