Soldier gets 30 days, reduced rank for beating
Stars and Stripes May 11, 2008
CAMP CASEY, South Korea — A 2nd Infantry Division soldier who beat and humiliated a naked soldier will go to jail for 30 days and lose his rank.
Spc. Tristan M. Edinboro, 21, will be reduced in rank to E-2, pending acceptance of military Judge Col. Donna Wright’s sentence by the convening authority.
Edinboro and Pfc. Gregory Brown stripped and beat the soldier in his barracks in two separate episodes following a New Year’s Eve argument at Black Jack Club in Dongducheon.
Defense attorney Capt. Brigid Osei-Bobie read a statement from Edinboro, of Company A, 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment. In the statement, Edinboro explained that he was upset because he had lost a leave pass because of a field exercise.
“I think I let some of that anger out on [the victim],” Edinboro said. “I am truly sorry for that."
The victim was drunk on Dec. 31 and confronted Edinboro about sleeping with his girlfriend, according to facts agreed upon by both the defense and prosecution.
Edinboro admitted sleeping with the girl — who worked at the Ruby Club — but said he didn’t know she was the victim’s supposed girlfriend.
The two began arguing but were separated.
About three hours later, Edinboro, Brown and Pvt. Tony Knolle entered the victim’s room while he was sleeping.
Edinboro shook the victim awake and smacked him in the face repeatedly. When the victim retaliated, Edinboro threw him against a dresser, according to testimony.
Brown, who was punished at an earlier summary court-martial, removed the victim’s clothing while Edinboro continued slapping him.
They left, but the victim’s roommate let Edinboro and his friends back in 30 minutes later. In the roommate’s presence, Brown again removed the victim’s clothing while Edinboro slapped him across the head, ears and eyes, causing heavy bruising.
After the incident, the victim’s antidepressant medication was increased, and he was prescribed new medication for insomnia.
The mental trauma and humiliation motivated prosecutors Capt. Mike Eaton and Capt. Josh Randolph to pursue a bad-conduct discharge for Edinboro.
“This isn’t about the crime of the century, but it is a very serious crime,” Eaton said.
Legal officials said that what — if any — legal action would be taken against Knolle was undetermined as of Friday.