22 April 2011

Pride of the USA

U.S. Army private gets 7 years in attack on elderly Korean couple

UIJEONGBU, South Korea — A panel of South Korean judges on Friday sentenced an American soldier to seven years in prison for breaking into a home and assaulting an elderly Korean couple in February.
U.S. Army Pvt. Lloyd Daniel, 19, of the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, beat the pair with a piece of lumber and attempted to rape the 63-year-old woman after breaking into the couple’s Camp Casey-area home in Dongducheon on Feb. 26, South Korean police said.
Before handing down the sentence, Uijeongbu District Court Chief Judge Park In-sik told Daniel through a translator that he would be treated the same as any Korean defendant, and not any harsher because he was a foreigner.
“This kind of crime is very serious in Korea,” the judge said. “(I know) this kind of crime is also very serious in your country.”
The couple was hospitalized in the wake of the attack, but both were released earlier this month, police said. The woman’s injuries included a broken nose, while the 70-year-old man suffered facial fractures and he may require additional surgery, police said.
Daniel, who was drunk at the time of the attack, stole the woman’s cell phone before leaving the house and was caught a few hours later, police said. When he was apprehended, he had blood on his socks and shoes, according to police. He also dropped his wallet and identification card near the couple’s house while fleeing, they said.
He was charged with attempted robbery and rape, robbery, injury resulting from attempted rape, and bodily injury resulting from robbery and larceny, American and South Korean officials said.
Uijeongbu District Court officials said Daniel admitted committing the crimes at a previous court hearing and based on that, the evidence and the statements of the victims, a three-judge panel found him guilty of all charges Friday.
Lt. Col. Joseph Scrocca, a 2nd Infantry Division spokesman, said the U.S. military made a payment to the couple to cover medical expenses, but declined to release the amount of that payment “out of respect for the family’s wishes to keep all matters involving them private.”
Daniel still has a right to appeal his case.
Any U.S. military action against him will have to wait until after the final disposition of his South Korean criminal court proceedings, Scrocca said.
If Daniel goes to prison, Scrocca said, Daniel will continue on active duty without pay while incarcerated and then be discharged upon his release.

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