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CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — After a three-day court-martial, Marine Cpl. Christopher McKinney was found guilty Friday of two counts of unlawful entry for entering the barracks rooms of a female Marine and was given a bad-conduct discharge.

However, the jury of five male officers and four senior enlisted men found McKinney not guilty of the charges of rape, indecent sexual assault and burglary, and he will serve no jail time.

McKinney, assigned to the 3rd Marine Logistic Group, showed no emotion as the sentence was read. In an unsworn statement made during the sentencing phase of the trial, he said he wanted to remain in the Marine Corps. But he had no words for the four women who charged he had taken advantage of a glitch in the security system in a Camp Foster barracks to enter their rooms while they slept.

One woman said McKinney raped her twice. The others said they awoke to find him touching them. “It’s just a lot of nonsense that didn’t need to happen,” said McKinney, who turns 23 next month. During the trial, the defense called the charges against McKinney “ridiculous” and insinuated that the woman had conspired against him.

On Wednesday, McKinney testified that many people in the barracks knew that the keys to their rooms, programmed to open one door, also could be used to gain access to other rooms. However, according to testimony, nothing was done to rectify the problem until the charges against him came to light last April.

The charges against him spanned a time frame of January 2005 to March 2006. However, after three hours and forty-five minutes of deliberation, McKinney was found guilty only of entering the room of one lance corporal with the key to an adjacent room.

On the witness stand, McKinney had admitted to one of the incidents, claiming he was having a sexual affair with the woman.

Prosecutor Capt. Andrew Beckwith had asked for the maximum sentence, 12 months in jail and a bad-conduct discharge. “You need to send a message to everyone in his command, to everyone on this island, that you’ve got to respect everyone’s privacy,” he argued. “There are certain boundaries that you do not cross.”

The felony conviction was punishment enough, argued defense attorney Capt. Jennifer Herrmann. “Now a federal felony conviction will follow him for the rest of his life,” she said. “That sends a message loud and clear … he gets the message.”


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