European edition, Tuesday, June 26, 2007

MANNHEIM, Germany — Chief Warrant Officer 2 Antonio Burnett will serve no more than 14 years in confinement, be kicked out of the Army and forfeit his pay and allowances after pleading guilty Monday to rape and indecent acts.

The judge, Army Col. R. Peter Masterton, sentenced Burnett to 25 years’ confinement, dismissal from the Army and forfeiture of all pay and allowances, but in accordance with a pretrial agreement, Burnett will not serve more than 14 years. Burnett will still be dismissed from the service and forfeit his pay and allowances.

The maximum punishment Burnett faced was life in confinement without parole.

Burnett, a maintenance officer with the 28th Transportation Battalion, raped a 9-year-old girl in November 1997 at Fort Hood, Texas, and fondled the same girl three to five times between 2001 and 2003.

After Burnett pleaded guilty, the victim testified that people could now see what a monster he really is.

“It makes me hate him even more because he knew what he was doing,” the victim said. “I want him to suffer.”

In an unsworn statement, Burnett, a soldier with nearly 18 years of service and three combat tours, said that women sexually assaulted him when he was 9 years old. He asked the judge for mercy to allow him to stay in the Army.

“What I did was wrong,” Burnett said.

Capt. Rebecca DiMuro, the prosecutor, asked the judge to sentence Burnett to 25 years’ confinement, dismissal from the Army and forfeiture of all pay and allowances.

“The effect of this crime is not over for the victim,” DiMuro said.

Defense attorney Capt. Douglas Moore said justice demanded less than the sentence prosecutors recommended because Burnett pleaded guilty to the crimes.

“Grant Chief Burnett mercy, your honor,” Moore said.

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