Camp Humphreys sergeant not guilty of rape, but demoted for adultery with private
January 18, 2008
CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea — An Army sergeant who pleaded guilty to committing adultery with a private was sentenced Wednesday to loss of rank, a reprimand and 60 days hard labor.
But Sgt. Christopher L. Fairly was found not guilty of raping the woman, who at the time was a member of his unit at Camp Humphreys.
Fairly’s loss of rank drops his pay grade to E-3.
His one-day court-martial was before military judge Lt. Col. John Head of Fort Lewis, Wash. Fairly had opted to be tried by a judge rather than jury.
Fairly, 32, with a wife and two children in South Korea, is a light wheel mechanic stationed at Camp Humphreys with Company E, 4th Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, part of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division.
Fairly testified he had intercourse with the 19-year-old private the night of Sept. 7, his birthday, outside the Enterprise Hotel near Camp Humphreys.
After the two danced at the hotel’s basement club, Fairly asked the woman to go with him while he looked outside for a place to urinate.
Once there, he testified, he relieved himself against a wall then turned to find the woman standing very close to him.
He kissed her, and after two more kisses engaged in sexual intercourse with her, he said.
The prosecution had charged Fairly with raping the woman. The woman testified she was out bar-hopping on a Friday night with several soldiers and was drunk.
She said that she and Fairly had danced and that she agreed to go outside with him.
Once outside, she testified, Fairly urinated, then suddenly grabbed her wrists, turned her so she faced the wall, pinned her wrists to the wall, and over the ensuing three to five minutes, raped her.
In testimony that drew fire from Fairly’s defense team, the woman said she had offered no resistance to the alleged rape, neither saying nor doing anything to bring it to a halt.
“I froze up,” she testified. “I was lost and scared. I didn’t know what to do.”
“At no time did she push him away or tell him to stop,” said defense lawyer Capt. Patrick Davis, of Yongsan Garrison.
In closing arguments, defense lawyer Capt. John Cho called the woman’s claim that she’d been too scared to protest “ridiculous.”
“For most women it would have been a catastrophic event,” Cho said. “Are you going to just stand there for three to five minutes?”
Prosecutor Capt. Graham Smith of Camp Humphreys calculated the maximum penalty for the adultery conviction as dishonorable discharge, reduction to E-1, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and one year in prison.