Well, this slipped quietly under the radar—as Stars & Stripes noted:
Last year, a pair of high-profile rapes committed by U.S. soldiers prompted demonstrations and scathing criticism from politicians and the South Korean media. But a South Korean court’s decision this week to reduce and suspend the sentence of a Camp Carroll-based soldier convicted of rape drew virtually no attention.
Pvt. Joseph Finley, 31, of the 2-1 Air Defense Artillery Battalion, was convicted by the Daegu district court in February of rape resulting in injury and was sentenced to three years in prison. On Monday, the Daegu High Court reduced his sentence by six months and suspended all punishment for three years – meaning he will serve no prison time if he commits no other crimes during that period.
There was little, if any, mention this week of Finley’s case in the South Korean press. Even in Waegwan, the city surrounding Camp Carroll, it seemed that few, if any, residents knew about Monday’s decision.
An agreement had been reached between the victim and the assailant, apparently. Moreover, the victim reportedly did not want the rapist punished, which seems to me a bit odd.
Here’s a look back at Finley’s case:
According to court sentencing documents, Finley was drinking alone at an off-post bar at 5:30 a.m. on July 24 when he saw a woman leaving alone. He suggested they continue to drink, and the two went to the woman’s house. It was at the home that the rape took place.
When questioned, Finley told police the two had consensual sex but the woman was too drunk to remember it. Police said the private’s story changed repeatedly during the investigation, and contradicted testimony from the victim, as well as the bar owner and staff. Finley’s DNA was also found on the victim, who suffered injuries on her genital area, arms and thighs, according to the court document.