Soldier expected to PCS after assault charge is adjudicated
September 15, 2006
UIJEONGBU, South Korea — If Pfc. Taylan Laurence Bohman stays out of trouble for at least one year in South Korea, he won’t have to serve a four-month prison sentence, according to a Uijeongbu District Court judge.
Judge Jung Jin-ho gave Bohman the suspended sentence — minus one day the soldier was held in South Korean custody — at a hearing Wednesday morning. Bohman was on trial for assaulting South Korean men during an incident earlier this year.
Bohman refused to comment on the sentence outside the courtroom Wednesday.
Prosecutors had sought a one-year jail term. Before reading the sentence, the judge said he took into consideration the fact that it was the first time Bohman faced legal problems in South Korea, that he appeared to be genuinely sorry for the incident and that the U.S. soldier paid settlements to the victims.
Defense attorney Jin Hyo-keun, contracted by the U.S. military, has told Stars and Stripes that Bohman paid more than $18,000 to the victims. Those payments, legal officials say, weigh heavily in sentencing decisions.
Jin said Bohman was due to leave South Korea, but was unable to leave the country until the case was finished.
Second Infantry Division officials confirmed Wednesday that once the sentencing is final, normally seven days after the announcement, international hold is lifted.
Bohman’s unit leadership still must make a decision on whether further punishment is warranted, which could affect any permanent change of station move.