Marine found guilty of indecent assault
September 15, 2007
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A 3rd Marine Division sergeant was found not guilty of raping a lance corporal after she ended their eight-month relationship. However, he was found guilty of indecent assault and sentenced Thursday to confinement for a year, reduction to E-1, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and a bad-conduct discharge.
At the end of the three-day general court-martial, the jury also found Sgt. Bill Napier III, who pleaded guilty Monday of adultery, fraternization and sexual activity in the barracks, guilty of making a false official statement and harassment.
Napier was found not guilty of forcible sodomy but guilty of a lesser charge of sodomy. The jury found him not guilty of making three additional false statements and extortion.
The judge, Maj. Charles Hale, then consolidated sodomy with the sexual activity in the barracks, ruling they were basically the same offense.
Before sentencing, the victim addressed the jurors about the Nov. 19, 2006, incident. “I don’t trust anyone ... I wake up at least three times a week with nightmares about what happened.”
In an unsworn statement, Napier apologized to the victim and to his wife and daughter for the “emotional difficulties” his actions caused. His wife and daughter had returned to the States in February 2006. The couple was in the process of divorcing in November 2006 but are currently still married, according to court testimony.
Prosecutor Capt. Timothy Aoyagi asked the jury for a sentence of eight years of confinement in order to “send a message that the Marine Corps has no tolerance for sexual assault and no tolerance for a sergeant who acts like this person did.”
But defense attorney Capt Janelle Janbajal argued that Napier has been punished. She said the general court-martial is a federal conviction, and “he will bear the stigma of this for the rest of his life.”
The maximum sentence Napier could have received was 17 years confinement, reduction to E-1, total forfeiture of pay and allowances and a dishonorable discharge.
The indecent-assault conviction requires Napier to register as a sex offender.