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CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea — A U.S. soldier in South Korea who admitted to raping a female soldier during a night of heavy drinking in the barracks was sentenced Thursday to six years in prison and a dishonorable discharge from the Army.

But under a plea agreement he will serve at most five years.

Pvt. Mikel A. Reynolds, 19, 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, also was sentenced to forfeit all pay and allowances and reduced to the lowest pay grade, E-1. He was an E-2 before his conviction by general court-martial at Camp Humphreys.

After sentencing, a team of soldiers put Reynolds in handcuffs and leg irons and stripped his uniform jacket of everything but the buttons and his name tag.

A sergeant used a knife to cut through the threads that held a single yellow rank chevron to each of Reynolds’ sleeves.

Reynolds had pleaded guilty July 27 to rape, making a false statement and failure to obey a lawful order. He had pleaded not guilty to sodomy, a charge the prosecution dropped Thursday.

The false-statement charge was filed because Reynolds, while under oath, told Army Criminal Investigation Division agents he had not had sexual intercourse with the woman, prosecutors said. He was charged with failing to obey an order because of his underage drinking the night of the incident. U.S. Forces Korea policy forbids drinking by servicemembers younger than 21.

The charges stemmed from an incident in the early hours of May 1, in the Suwon Air Base barracks of the brigade’s Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment. Reynolds was a member of the battery and 18 at the time of the incident.

According to prosecutors and trial testimony, the incident began when Reynolds and three other soldiers met in his room for a drinking session.

Eventually, the woman passed out and the others fell asleep.

But Reynolds later awoke and sexually assaulted her. When she struggled to get free he pinned her, later forcing a hand over her mouth to stifle her screams.

One of the other soldiers awakened and removed Reynolds from the victim. Others in the unit notified their first sergeant, who contacted Army CID agents.

CID agents questioned Reynolds that day. He was charged June 16.

Questioned Tuesday by prosecutor Claudine Andola, the victim testified she suffered nightmares and sleeplessness in the weeks after the attack. She also said the incident is affecting her marriage.

Defense lawyer Capt. Corey Marks asked for leniency from the judge, Col. Patrick J. Parrish, chief judge for the 6th Judicial Circuit in Seoul. Marks portrayed Reynolds as an intelligent and “passive” person whose judgment the night of the incident became clouded by “consumption of alcohol” and who was genuinely remorseful.

In an unsworn statement before sentencing, Reynolds apologized to the victim by name “for all the pain and suffering I’ve caused you … . I am sorry to you, I am sorry to your family and I am sorry to this court for not being honest about my misconduct.”

Reynolds was taken to the 8th U.S. Army Confinement Facility at Camp Humphreys.


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