U.S. soldier accused of attempted rape gets reduced sentence deferred

Posted on : 2008-01-16 15:42 KST Modified on : 2008-01-16 15:42 KST
Another U.S. soldier previously accused of having collaborated is acquitted

An American soldier accused of trying to rape a South Korean female police officer in Seoul’s Chungdam neighborhood in April of last year was handed a light sentence by the Seoul High Court. Another U.S. soldier, who was sentenced to a three-year jail term on charges of collaborating in the attempted rape, was acquitted by the same appeals court.

Sgt. Anthony Basel, 24, was arrested last April on charges of trying to rape the off-duty police officer at a public restroom in Seoul. Pfc. Marc Feldmann, 22, was arrested for having allegedly collaborated with Basel.

On January 15, the court reduced Basel’s prison term of three years and six months to one year and six months, but suspended the term for three years. Feldmann, who was sentenced to three years in prison, was acquitted.

In handing down its ruling, the court said: “There is no evidence that Feldmann either participated in the crime or collaborated with Basel because the witness’s testimony, that he was inside the public restroom, wasn’t consistent with the progression of events on the night in question.”

Regarding Basel, the court seemed to have been swayed by a previous diagnosis of post-traumatic stress syndrome following Basel’s tour of duty in the Iraq War. “[Basel] has some mental difficulties and is heavily dependant on alcohol, cigarettes and illegal drugs,” the court said, adding that he was overly drunk around the time of the attempted rape.

Please direct questions or comments to [englishhani@hani.co.kr]

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