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SEOUL — A married U.S. soldier sentenced last week to 10 months in South Korean prison in connection with an adulterous relationship appealed the sentence Friday, his lawyer and U.S. military officials confirmed.

Sgt. Jin-hong Han, 35, was sentenced in Uijeongbu District Court on Wednesday.

He admitted in December to adultery and breaching the promise of marriage as he promised his South Korean girlfriend he would marry her if she had sex with him.

His lawyer, Jung Jin-sung, said the punishment was too harsh, especially since Han didn’t realize what he did was a crime in South Korea.

South Korean authorities held Han for an hour after sentencing Wednesday, but he eventually was released to be held by the U.S. military until the completion of the appeals process.

A 2nd Infantry Division spokesman confirmed Friday that Han is with his military unit.

“He is under the watchful eye and supervision of his command,” said Maj. Karl Ivey. Ivey confirmed that Han had submitted an appeal.

Officials at Uijeongbu District Court said the appeals process could take up to two months.

During the sentencing, the judge acknowledged that the crime of sexual intercourse under the pretense of marriage exists in South Korea but not America.

Still, the judge considered that Han grew up in South Korea, lied to his girlfriend about his marriage and his rank, and even hired a person to portray his father when he met his girlfriend’s parents.

Han, a U.S. citizen, moved to the States during high school and joined the U.S. Army in 2000.

He was stationed at Camp Red Cloud in 2004, according to his lawyer’s statements in court last month.

Han met a woman via an online dating service and married her.

About a month later, he sought another woman using the same dating service, his lawyer has said.

He began dating a second woman last fall, telling her he was a lieutenant colonel making $90,000 a year, Jung said.

When their relationship grew to the point that they decided to introduce their parents to each other, the lawyer said, Han hired a man to act as his father.

Eventually, both the wife and girlfriend grew suspicious and caught the soldier.


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