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VICENZA, Italy — A private with the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment was found guilty of single specifications of indecent assault and indecent acts with a child in a court-martial that ended Friday.

Orlando F. Reynolds was sentenced to 60 days of confinement and a bad-conduct discharge by a five-member jury. He also must register in the United States as a convicted sex offender.

The 21-year-old had faced a maximum punishment of 12 years of confinement, forfeiture of all pay and a dishonorable discharge.

Reynolds, who served combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan with the 173rd Airborne Brigade, had faced two more specifications of indecent acts with a child, but the jury dismissed those counts.

The charges stem from incidents in February 2005 — two weeks before Reynolds deployed to Afghanistan for a year — and March 2006, about a month after his return.

The victims were an adult woman and her 14-year-old daughter. It is against Stars and Stripes policy to disclose the names of victims of sexual assault and victims who are minors.

Capt. Larry Babin, the trial counsel, described Reynolds as “a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” and said he endeared himself to the family and then took advantage of opportunities when the victims were vulnerable.

According to the prosecution’s case, he was watching a movie with his wife and the adult woman late one night at the woman’s house.

After his wife fell asleep, Reynolds moved to sit next to the woman. The woman testified that she awoke to find part of her clothing ripped and Reynolds with his hand rubbing her between her legs. She fled the room.

After Reynolds returned from Afghanistan, he was again at the victims’ house when his wife and the woman were away on base. That left him with the 14-year-old and a 12-year-old sister, who were watching a movie until their mother returned.

The 14-year-old testified that Reynolds touched her thighs and breast, repeatedly told her she was beautiful and that he loved her.

Her sister’s testimony later appeared to contradict some of her testimony, but confirmed that she saw Reynolds kissing her sister and saying words to similar effect.

Capt. James Ewing, the defense counsel, said the 14-year-old had made up the entire story — including the two other incidents the jury later discounted — to deflect attention away from herself.

Ewing described the girl as “a complete liar” during his closing arguments.

The woman, without looking at Reynolds — who she described more than once as “a son I never had” — tearfully said her family had been torn apart in testifying during the sentencing phase of the trial. Reynolds also shed some tears during her testimony.

The defense introduced testimony from three of Reynolds’ superiors, who stated they would still want him to serve under them in spite of the charges.

Ewing argued that Reynolds receive a sentence of hard labor and remain in the Army, while Badin proposed a three-year sentence, forfeiture of pay and a bad-conduct discharge.

Migrated
Kent has filled numerous roles at Stars and Stripes including: copy editor, news editor, desk editor, reporter/photographer, web editor and overseas sports editor. Based at Aviano Air Base, Italy, he’s been TDY to countries such as Afghanistan Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia. Born in California, he’s a 1988 graduate of Humboldt State University and has been a journalist for almost 38 years.
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