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RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — A Kaiserslautern-based Air Force security forces member was sentenced to two years in prison after being convicted Tuesday of raping a female airman last year after partying at a popular base bar.

A military jury during a court-martial convicted Airman 1st Class Scott V. Bridges of assaulting the airman in her dormitory room in the early morning hours of Jan. 15.

In addition to the prison term, he was ordered to forfeit all pay and benefits for two years, reduced in rank to E-1 and given a bad-conduct discharge.

Bridges, 21, who was assigned to the Vogelweh-based 569th U.S. Forces Police Squadron, faced a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole, reduction to the lowest pay grade, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and a dishonorable discharge.

Prosecuting attorneys Capt. Adrian Brown and Capt. Darren Eicken argued for a prison sentence of no less than five years.

Bridges and the victim, who is assigned to the same squadron, were drinking with friends at the Kazabra Club on Jan 14. Both knew each other from work but weren’t considered friends.

The victim said she was celebrating her one-year anniversary in the Air Force, Brown said.

Witnesses testified on Monday that the victim became so drunk at the bar she couldn’t walk, slurred her speech and had trouble keeping her head up.

Bridges offered to take her home, and both went back to her room between 2:30 a.m. and 3:30 a.m., Brown said.

The victim doesn’t remember how she got home or the alleged rape afterward. But she said she woke up later that morning naked and feeling sore. Bridges stopped by her dorm room around noon and asked how she was feeling, Brown said.

When she asked what happened, he told her that they kissed in the cab ride to her place but nothing else happened, Air Force prosecutors said.

DNA testing, however, proved that sex had taken place, Army DNA expert Robert Fisher testified on Tuesday.

Maj. Elizabeth Decker, director of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center’s women’s health clinic, testified that the victim’s injuries were consistent with rape.

The victim testified on Wednesday during the sentencing portion of the trial that she had been scarred emotionally by the rape. When she deployed to Iraq last year, she said she had a difficult time performing guard duties with men.

“I had a lot of trust issues,” she said.

In an unsworn statement read at a podium in front of the jury, Bridges apologized and pleaded for leniency, stating he “never wanted to hurt” her.

Bridges, who has less than two years of service, must register as a convicted sexual offender for the rest of his life.


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