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CAMP CASEY, South Korea — A court-martial jury took only about 20 minutes to convict a 2nd Infantry Division soldier of aggravated assault, but sentenced him to less time than prosecutors hoped.

Pfc. Joshua Richmond of 302nd Brigade Support Battalion, Company D received 90 days of confinement and a reduction in rank to E-1 on Friday at the Camp Casey courtroom for beating Pfc. Keith Friese on Nov. 19.

Richmond was acquitted of a lesser assault against Pvt. Ashlee Cribbs, who suffered a black eye while trying to break up the attack.

Prosecutors had sought 12 months of confinement and a bad-conduct discharge for Richmond, who attacked Friese while his back was turned.

Cribbs attempted to introduce Friese to Richmond outside barracks building 3846 that night, but Richmond refused to shake his hand, according to testimony.

Cribbs then took Friese’s hand and walked toward the barracks. Both soldiers, and Spc. Joe Alonzo, all testified that Richmond then jumped Friese from behind and began punching him in the head.

For at least a couple of minutes while being beaten, Friese did not retaliate.

“I was not going to fight him,” Friese said. “I told him I was not going to get in trouble.”

Richmond threw elbows, then put Friese in a headlock while kneeing him in the high cheekbone, near the temple, Friese said.

Friese was diagnosed with a bruised cheekbone by a physician’s assistant the next day. Three days later, X-rays revealed a broken cheekbone.

He had surgery the next day at 121st Combat Support Hospital in Yongsan Garrison. He had to wear a face brace for a week and has a visible scar.

Cribbs claimed that Friese punched himself in the face in between clinic visits to make his injury worse; he didn’t want his first sergeant to think less of him, she said.

Friese strongly denied Cribbs’ claim and testified that later their relationship ended badly.

Cribbs changed her original statement during testimony Friday, surprising prosecutors.

She said she wasn’t sure if Richmond struck her while she unsuccessfully tried to break up the attack.

During sentencing, two sergeants and a company commander sang Richmond’s praises as a motivated mechanic and a tough soldier who has undergone counseling.

“This happened six months ago, and they all said ‘I’d serve with him again.’ He’s already been rehabilitated,” said defense attorney Capt. David Stem.

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