Bamberg soldier sentenced in attack
July 10, 2003
A military judge Tuesday sentenced a Bamberg, Germany-based soldier to 42 months in prison for an attack on a German newspaper carrier last year.
Pvt. Paul Zagrafos, 20, pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated assault, breaking restriction, drunk-and-disorderly conduct and violating an order, said Capt. Will Helixon, the prosecutor in the court-martial. The judge, Lt. Col. Robin Hall, also found him guilty of an additional charge of maiming, which Helixon said applies if an attack leaves permanent damage or visible scars.
Zagrafos was walking home about 5:15 a.m. on May 4, 2002, according to prosecutors, when he encountered the 58-year-old victim about two miles from Warner Barracks as she was delivering newspapers on her bicycle. After she gave him directions, he suddenly attacked her, Helixon said.
Zagrafos told the court he is an alcoholic and doesn’t remember why he attacked the woman. His mother testified that his father and grandfather both were alcoholics as well, and that his father’s recent suicide was linked to the condition.
Helixon said Zagrafos, of the 54th Engineer Battalion, has been confined to the military prison at Mannheim since March 21 because of other alcohol-related incidents. Besides the nearly four years of jail time, Hall ordered Zagrafos to forfeit his paycheck and be dishonorably discharged.