S. Korea prosecutors drop assault charge against US soldier after settlement reached
By JON RABIROFF AND YOO KYONG CHANG | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 6, 2012
SEOUL — Prosecutors have dropped the case against a U.S. soldier who was under investigation in the alleged attempted sexual assault of a bar employee near Camp Casey.
Officials connected to the case said a financial settlement was paid to the Korean woman on behalf of the 2nd Infantry Division soldier prior to any indictment being issued.
Under South Korean law, officials said, this is the type of case where the alleged victim’s cooperation is required to move forward, so the settlement agreement essentially ends it.
The soldier was drinking at a bar shortly before midnight Oct. 16 when he kissed and tried to sexually assault a bar employee, Dongducheon police said when the investigation was launched.
The woman’s clothes were torn and she was treated for minor injuries, police said.
The behavior of U.S. servicemembers in South Korea and Japan has been a subject of great scrutiny and angst.
Just over a year ago, two American soldiers were arrested within days of each other in connection with separate cases of rape involving teenage South Korean girls.
Those incidents led to a groundswell of complaints about U.S. military misbehavior in South Korea; calls to reform the status of forces agreement, which some view as too lenient on soldiers suspected of wrongdoing; and the reinstitution of a curfew on American servicemembers that remains in effect.
In recent months, a series of sexual and drunken misdeeds by American servicemembers in Japan has led to a number of crackdown measures being implemented there.