Two soldiers in South Korean custody in rape case
May 18, 2007
SEOUL — Two U.S. soldiers accused of attempting to rape an off-duty policewoman on the floor of a public bathroom last month were placed in South Korean pre-trial custody Wednesday, officials confirmed.
The U.S. Army identified the soldiers as Sgt. Anthony Q. Basel and Pfc. Marc C. Feldmann of the 61st Maintenance Company, 19th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).
The soldiers will be held in the Seoul Correctional Facility awaiting trial on attempted rape charges.
Army officials said the soldiers also have been placed on “international hold,” meaning they can’t leave the country until proceedings are finished.
Their Army-contracted South Korean defense lawyer, Jin Hyo-geun, said Wednesday he planned to visit the soldiers Thursday to discuss their case.
South Korean police allege the 23-year-old sergeant and 21-year-old private attacked the woman April 5 in a coed bathroom in the Chungdamdong district of Gangnam.
Police said the woman was drinking with a friend in a bar and visited the restroom on a landing between the building’s first and second floors. When she left the stall, she was attacked, police said.
Police said she was beaten and dragged to the floor, where one assailant attempted to rape her after the other locked the door.
Her screams alerted a nearby business owner who asked the building’s guard to unlock the door, police said.
The soldiers were apprehended at a nearby apartment complex, police said.
Police added that Basel and Feldmann also had been detained for two hours earlier that night after a woman complained they groped her while she was walking on the street with her young daughter. They were released when the woman refused to press charges.
It was not clear Wednesday when the soldiers will appear in court.
Hwang Hae-rym contributed to this story.