A Columbia man has been sentenced in a South Korean court for raping an 18-year-old South Korean woman. The 21-year-old Army soldier, Private First Class Kevin Lee Flippin, will do ten years in prison for breaking into the woman’s motel room near Seoul, repeatedly raping her and stealing 5,000 won … less than $5 in American currency.
The serviceman has a week to appeal.
The ruling comes amid the country’s effort to hand down harsher punishments for sex crimes in South Korea.
Stars and Stripes, a military newspaper based in Washington, had a reporter on the case, who says this is the second accusation of rape since Sept. 17, sparking outrage in South Korea, leading to protests outside the U.S. embassy in Seoul and the Uijeongbu courthouse.
Flippin reportedly had earlier confessed to getting drunk, attacking the woman with a knife and scissors, and raping her in the city of Dongducheon, Korean police told Stars and Stripes.
Again in trial, Flippin was contrite. “I was wrong, I know. It’s not an excuse,” Flippin told the judge, according to the Stars and Stripes report. Details that came forward in the trial included Flippin drinking vodka and whiskey, hitting the victim, dragging her through her apartment, burning her breast with a lighter, and raping her multiple times.
After sobering up, Flippin reportedly begged her forgiveness — then stole the woman’s wallet.
The U.S. Army has called the act unacceptable and apologized, but protestors outside the courthouse are demanding an apology from President Obama.
The Missourinet has requested interviews in South Korea and will update this story as more details become available.