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Pacific edition, Thursday, September 13, 2007

A U.S. soldier was sentenced Monday to three years in prison for raping a South Korean teenager.

The 8th U.S. Army identified him as Sgt. Singinn A. Lawson, a member of 2nd Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, based at Camp Carroll.

Lawson had been held in pre-trial confinement in the Daegu Detention Facility since June 29, according to 8th Army officials.

Daegu District Court officials said the teen was walking home in October 2006, when the soldier chased her down, beat and raped her. They refused to release her age, but other South Korean media reported she was 19.

In his decision, Chief Judge Kang Yoon-gu said the soldier had fully denied the rape and refused to show remorse, court officials said. He did take into consideration the fact the soldier was serving South Korea, far from home, and had no other criminal history, officials said.

Lawson’s unit moved to Camp Carroll from Gwangju Air Base in October 2006 as part of the ongoing realignment of U.S. Forces on the peninsula.

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