Soldier admits hitting woman with frying pan, denies rape attempt charge
January 21, 2007
UIJEONGBU, South Korea — A soldier struck a 21-year-old South Korea woman with a frying pan, then fled in his underwear after unlawfully entering her apartment, according to testimony in Uijeongbu district court on Friday.
Pfc. Jordan Nelson, 19, of the 55th Military Police Company, is charged with assault and attempted rape after entering the unlocked apartment at about 2 a.m. on Oct. 22. He disputed the tearful woman’s claims that he got in bed with her but admitted striking her with the pan.
When the woman began screaming, Nelson left his clothing and dog tags behind, according to testimony.
Nelson also is accused of assaulting a different woman and stealing her purse the previous morning, according to testimony.
Prosecutors asked Chief Judge Jo Yoon-shin to punish Nelson with four to five years in prison because he initially denied some of the charges and forced the women to provide additional testimony.
Defense lawyer Jeung Jin-sung asked Jo to take Nelson’s age into consideration.
Nelson blamed his struggles with alcohol and apologized for his actions, promising to financially compensate the woman.
“I don’t know why I did that,” he said. “I was too drunk. I was too scared.”
Nelson says he grabbed the frying pan soon after entering the studio apartment because he heard noises and got frightened.
The woman said Nelson got into her bed, though she could not remember where in bed or how he was positioned.
“When I woke up, I opened my eyes and saw the man staring at me, right above me,” she said.
The woman, and Lee Sang-lan, 46, whom Nelson is accused of robbing and assaulting, both testified from a different room. Their testimony was broadcast in the courtroom via closed-circuit television.
Both women said they were too afraid to testify before Nelson.
Nelson admitted that he stole Lee’s purse while drunk but denied hitting her. Lee told police she was struck in the side. While testifying, she said she instead was struck on the right arm.
Lee said she spent 15 days in the hospital getting treatment for her bruises and seeking psychiatric care.
Nelson said he tossed away Lee’s Louis Vuitton-style handbag after taking about 25,000 won (roughly $26) and some credit cards.
“My client feels very sorry for what he had done,” Jeung said. “He will compensate her for the damages and lost items.”
Nelson’s sentencing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m Feb. 2 in Uijeongbu District Court.