WüRZBURG, Germany — A Hohenfels-based soldier with a long history of trouble was convicted Monday for a string of misconduct including adultery, an indecent act and multiple assaults and threats against women.

A military judge in Würzburg sentenced Pfc. Derick D. Williams, of the 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, to 10 years in prison, though he will serve no more than 61 months as the result of a plea agreement. The judge, Lt. Col. Robin Hall, also ordered Williams to forfeit all pay, be reduced to the lowest enlisted rank and be dishonorably discharged from the Army.

Williams, 24, pleaded guilty to one count of indecent assault, four counts of assault, 10 counts of disobeying orders from officers or noncommissioned officers, two counts of failure to appear for duty, two counts of communicating threats and one count of adultery. Six other counts of various charges were dropped as part of a plea agreement.

The charges stretched from spring 2001 to mid-October, when he finally was jailed at Mannheim.

“He has been, unequivocally, the worst soldier I’ve ever been associated with in 20 years,” 1st Sgt. Harold Wolfe, the noncommissioned officer-in-charge of Williams’ unit, testified at the court-martial.

According to his family, Williams had been a model youngster while growing up in Mart, Texas, a solid student, a member of the church choir and a star athlete.

“He was a good boy,” his grandmother, Lillie Mae Williams, testified by telephone from Texas. “We never did have no trouble out of him, never.”

Williams enlisted in February 2000. His first assignment was with the 1-4 Infantry in Hohenfels.

Within a month of his arrival in Germany, Williams’ brother was murdered and his father died. After the two deaths, Williams said, he repeatedly requested reassignment to Fort Hood, Texas, so he could be near his family, but the unit’s leadership said no.

So he began disobeying orders and failing to show up for duty.

“I wanted to get kicked out of the military,” Williams said. “I’d fail PT tests, cuss out NCOs. But they’d never kick me out.”

His persistent troubles grew worse last spring, in the midst of an affair with the wife of a sergeant in his unit. They’d been dating about a month, when the woman drove Williams and two of his friends to a club in Regensburg shortly after midnight April 12.

As they left the club about 4 a.m., they saw two young German women who needed a ride. Williams’ girlfriend agreed to drive them home to Nürnberg after dropping the soldiers off at Hohenfels.

Instead, according to testimony, she accompanied Williams to his room for a sexual encounter. After he was finished, he said, he walked down the hall and listened outside the room of one of his friends, a specialist, and heard sounds he compared to “rough sex” with one of the woman from the club. The friend let Williams and another soldier in and invited them to join in although the woman looked distressed.

“On her face, it looked like she was scared, like she’d just been raped or beat up,” Williams said, but he took off his pants and allowed his friend to push the woman’s face into his lap.

“I kept saying that I didn’t want this,” the dark-haired, dark-eyed woman, a 20-year-old graphic design student, testified through an interpreter. “I didn’t know what they would do. I was scared.”

Williams left after awhile. Later, the woman said, she jumped out a window and reported the incident to police.

By May, Williams’ relationship with the married woman soured. Three times that month, he punched her, choked her or bit her during angry public encounters.

Williams also began dating the 17-year-old daughter of another soldier and acknowledged choking her and slamming her against the wall during an argument at the Hohenfels bowling center in September.

And, Williams admitted, he threatened his married former girlfriend several times between May and October, through phone messages or in person.

Prosecutors eventually charged him with 28 crimes.

At his court-martial Monday, Williams apologized to his victims and his chain of command, saying he had rediscovered God and spent time reflecting while in jail.

“I know I’ll never, ever hit a woman again,” he said. “I’m confessing my sins, pouring my heart out to everyone I hurt.”

His attorney, Capt. John Kiel, said Williams learned violence from his alcoholic, abusive father. He said his unit’s leadership shared some responsibility.

“Why wasn’t this soldier chaptered a couple of years ago?” Kiel asked. “Why didn’t the unit deal with this instead of letting this soldier self-destruct?”

But the prosecutor, Capt. Michael Goba, said the blame rests with Williams.

“Pfc. Williams is not only a bad soldier, but he’s a vicious, violent, jealous, female-abusing coward,” Goba said. “[He] displays an attitude that the Army is his personal playground, and everyone else is unlucky enough to be in it with him.”

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