Judge finds Osan airman not guilty of rape
April 13, 2008
OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — An airman who admitted to joining a sexual threesome in an Osan dormitory was sentenced Friday to 15 days in jail, but was cleared of raping the woman.
Senior Airman Joshua Amundson, 28, had pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiring to commit an indecent act, committing the indecent act, and adultery for his role in the Feb. 11, 2007, incident.
The guilty plea, Amundson said, was because he went along with Senior Airman Gabriel Contreras’ suggestion of a three-way sexual encounter with the woman, and because he touched her genitals while Contreras looked on — a crime under U.S. military law.
Amundson also was given a reduction in rank to E-3 and a $500 fine, but he was acquitted on additional charges of indecent assault and housebreaking.
“God performs miracles, because he did [today],” Amundson’s wife, Elizabeth, said after his sentence was announced.
Joshua Amundson opted to be tried by military judge Maj. Charles Wiedie instead of a court-martial jury.
His conviction comes about three months after Contreras was convicted of rape for encouraging Amundson to have sex with the woman.
Prosecutors said that even though Contreras didn’t rape the woman, he was responsible for the assault because he encouraged Amundson to go into her room and have sex with her.
Contreras was sentenced to one year in prison, a dishonorable discharge, reduction in rank to E-1 and forfeiture of pay.
Amundson, of Osan’s 51st Munitions Squadron, testified Friday that Contreras invited him to have sex with the woman while the two men were smoking outside after a night of drinking. Amundson said he went to his room, picked up condoms, then went to the woman’s room. He said the woman encouraged the sex, and spoke and looked at him during the act.
A third airman who had consensual sex with the woman that night did not face charges.
Prosecutors argued that Amundson took advantage of an intoxicated, sleeping woman.
Defense attorney Maj. Andrew Kalavanos said the woman accused the airman of rape because she was young, immature, and embarrassed at having sex with three men on her third night at Osan.
Amundson said after his sentence was announced that he had planned to accept whatever punishment Wiedie handed out.
“There was a lot that he could have done to me,” Amundson said.
Before his sentencing, Amundson told Wiedie that he made a “horrible, horrible” choice that hurt his wife, two stepdaughters and 3-year-old daughter.
“Please consider not giving me a punitive discharge so I can have some chance of providing for my family. I don’t want to be more of a burden to them than I already am,” he said.
Elizabeth Amundson told Wiedie that her husband told her immediately about the incident, apologized and became more attentive.
“He’s just a changed man,” she said.
Amundson faced a maximum of 11 years in prison, a dishonorable discharge and loss of pay and rank for the charges he pleaded guilty to in the trial.