Korea to take custody of U.S. soldier accused of rape
SEOUL – A Camp Casey soldier accused of the Sept. 24 rape of an 18-year-old South Korean woman will be transferred to South Korean custody Thursday, according to the U.S. Army’s 2nd Infantry Division.
The soldier, a private first class whose name has not been released, allegedly entered the woman’s home, a small room in a goshitel — a low-budget hotel with dormitory-style rooms — and raped her, according to Park Sang Yung, chief of the Dongducheon Police Station.
The case has generated considerable media attention and public anger in South Korea because of the woman’s age, and because of the involvement of an American soldier.
It’s the the second high-profile criminal case this year involving a 2ID soldier. In April, Pvt. Lloyd Daniel of the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, was sentenced to seven years in a South Korean prison for breaking into a home and assaulting an elderly Korean couple in February.
On Wednesday, South Korean media surprised U.S. military officials by showing up at regularly scheduled meeting between 2ID’s provost marshal and Dongducheon police, according to 2ID spokesman Lt. Col. Joseph Scrocca. Several Dongducheon city council members also unexpectedly attended the meeting, he said.
Scrocca said that among other business, officials discussed the alleged rape and South Korean police asked questions beyond the scope of 2ID’s role in the investigation, including whether the soldier suffered from depression.
According to Dongducheon police, the 21-year-old soldier also used scissors and a knife in the attack. The victim remains hospitalized for mental trauma caused by the attack, according to the head of police department’s violent crime division. She sustained minor injuries to two fingers while trying to fend off his attack, the official said.
The soldier has confessed to the rape and said he was drunk at the time, the official said.
The soldier has been held in confinement by 2ID while South Korean police finished their investigation and requested his transfer under terms outlined in the Status of Forces Agreement, according to a 2ID news release.
“I offer the victim, her family and the Korean people my sincere regret for this incident. We fully expect our soldiers to maintain the highest standards of professionalism and conduct in the community,” Maj. Gen. Edward Cardon, the 2ID commanding general, said in a statement.