Soldier gets 13 months for bottle attack outside Seoul bar
June 29, 2006
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — An Army private will go to prison for gashing a former Seoul American High School student with a broken bottle outside a nightclub, a military court decided Tuesday.
Pfc. Christopher Myers was sentenced to 13 months in prison, a bad-conduct discharge and forfeiture of pay and was reduced in rank to E-1 for assaulting Jasmyn Chambers, 18, on Feb. 25 outside Stompers nightclub in Seoul.
Myers, of the 106th Medical Detachment, pleaded guilty to charges of assault and disorderly conduct. He also pleaded guilty to violating a general order regarding curfew, underage drinking and entering the then off-limits Hongdae neighborhood. A charge of communicating a threat was dismissed.
Judge Lt. Col. Mark Sposato’s sentence was lighter than the 18-month sentence proscribed in a pre-trial agreement.
Chambers received 81 stitches and suffered cuts along her cheek, nose and forehead after Myers assaulted her, according to testimony.
On the stand Tuesday, Chambers talked about the effects the attack have had on her life and on her state of mind when she looks into the mirror.
“Every [morning], I just remember what happened,” Chambers said. “I want to get plastic surgery so I don’t have to wake up every day and see what happened to me.”
Chambers said she planned to go to a performing arts college in Los Angeles to study acting but did not interview with the college because of her lingering scars.
Some of those scars could be permanent, testified her father, Jim Chambers. His daughter will pursue a type of plastic surgery unavailable in South Korea when she returns to the United States in the fall, he said.
Myers apologized to his victim, his command and his mother for disgracing the Army.
“I cannot describe the sorrow I feel for Ms. Chambers … and I hope one day she will be able to forgive me,” he said.
Myers, who said he was a “five” on a 1-to-10 scale of intoxication, told the court that he did not intentionally strike Chambers with the broken bottle. He said he took the bottle in an attempt to break up a potential fight, then taunted Chambers to keep her away from a verbal altercation.
Myers said he wanted to get rid of the bottle and did not see anyone standing behind Chambers, so he threw it in her direction. After Chambers’ injury, Stompers security grabbed Myers and gave his military identification card to Chambers, who went to a military hospital in a taxi.
A few days after the attack, Chambers received a letter pressing her with “administrative action” from reprimand up to barring her from Area II for retaliating against Myers by allegedly kicking and scratching him during the incident. No such action has taken place.
Chambers said Tuesday she felt relieved that the case was finally over. In his final question, prosecuting attorney Capt. J.P. Leary asked Chambers if the attack had changed the way she views soldiers and the Army.
“Not exactly soldiers, just humans — everyone,” she said.