SEOUL — A U.S. soldier has admitted that he attempted to rape an off-duty South Korean policewoman last month, according to his defense team.

Sgt. Anthony Q. Basel initially denied attacking the woman in an off-post bathroom, but later confessed to the April 5 incident, defense officials said outside the courtroom Friday following their first court appearance in the case.

Basel, answering a prosecutor’s questions through a translator, admitted to being in the bathroom the night of the attack.

Fellow soldier Pfc. Marc C. Feldman, also charged with attempted rape, told the prosecutor he wasn’t in the bathroom.

Before questions could continue, Basel’s defense attorney, Jin Hyo-guen, complained about the quality of the translation and requested a temporary halt to the trial. The prosecutor also asked for more time to investigate what he called inconsistent statements from the defendants.

The judge delayed the case until June 8.

Sean Hayes, an American lawyer consulting with the South Korean firm representing Basel, said Basel was drinking heavily that day and remembers little of the incident.

“The only thing he has memory of is being on top of that girl,” Hayes said during a phone interview Friday afternoon.

Police said the woman had been drinking with a friend in a bar and visited the coed restroom in the building. She was attacked when she left the stall, police allege, and one assailant attempted to rape her while the other locked the door.

Her screams alerted a nearby business owner who asked the building’s guard to unlock the door. The two assailants left but were caught nearby, he said.

Basel and Feldmann, who are based at Camp Stanley, had been detained two hours earlier in the neighborhood after a woman complained they had groped her as she walked home with her young daughter, police said. She refused to press charges.

Hayes said Basel has had a drinking problem since he returned from a yearlong tour in Iraq and spent three days in a military-ordered rehabilitation program.

The 23-year-old, who lost five friends in Iraq and escaped a bomb that exploded in front of his vehicle, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after returning from Iraq, Hayes said. Basel dropped out of a treatment program because he feared it would harm his chances of being promoted, Hayes said.

He said the prosecutor is being “incredibly vigorous” in this case, alerting the South Korean media and pushing for the maximum sentence of seven years.

“It’s an issue between a foreigner and a police officer,” said Hayes, who believes the policewoman is being pressured not to settle the case out of court, a typical practice in South Korea.

Both soldiers are part of the 61st Maintenance Company, 19th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), and have been placed on international hold, meaning they can’t leave the country until court proceedings are finished.

Hwang Hae-rym contributed to this report.

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