A three-judge panel on Wednesday sentenced a U.S. soldier to six years in prison for raping a South Korean teenager in September.
Pvt. Kevin Robinson was found guilty of raping the 17-year-old at her residence in Seoul after a night of drinking. He also was convicted of larceny for stealing the victim’s laptop.
Robinson, 21, who was stationed at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan in Seoul, shook his head as the verdict was read in the Seoul Central District Court. In addition to his prison sentence, personal data about Robinson will be available in South Korea on a media network for 10 years — a significant punishment in a country where privacy is so strictly protected that the names of criminals are often not released to the public, and their faces are blurred out in media images.
The head judge said the court considered the victim’s age, the fact that she was intoxicated, the lack of Robinson having any previous convictions in South Korea and the lack of brutality against the victim, when deciding the sentence. The judge said the length of the sentence was in line with guidelines recommended by a South Korean Supreme Court committee.
Six years is quite the score in a case where even the prosecutors admitted there was no direct evidence. In fact, every time prosecutors opened their mouths to the press, their case looked weaker and weaker. And even in their judgment, the bench said, “While Robinson denies the charges, when one puts together the circumstances, such as the victim’s underwear testing positive for Robinson’s semen, we can only acknowledge the facts of Robinson’s crime.” I’d like to see the other circumstances, because if that’s all the prosecutor brought, this conviction is BS.
Make no mistake—Robinson’s a Class A douche, and I don’t feel good taking this guy’s side. I don’t like this judgement at all, though. I can only hope the press isn’t telling us everything.
GI Korea has a good post on this (from which I stole the Stars & Stripes link). He’s also a lot more understanding of this sentence than I.