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UPDATED: 16:09, March 09, 2007
S. Korea's local court sentences U.S. soldier to four-year jail term for rape
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A local court in Seoul sentenced a U. S. soldier on Friday to four years of imprisonment on charges of raping and beating a local woman in her late sixties.

The 23-year-old GI of the U.S. 8th Army stationed in South Korea, who was only identified by his initial G, was arrested by patrolling policemen in western Seoul on Jan. 14 when he allegedly punched an 67-year-old woman and raped her in a narrow path of a residential area.

The court said the defendant's claim that he had been too intoxicated to control his behavior at the time of the incident was not valid because the circumstances surrounding his arrest suggested otherwise.

The court said the victim is still traumatized by the incident, adding to the jail sentence. The defendant said he plans to appeal.

Under the South Korea-United States Status of Forces Agreement, Korea can assume jurisdiction in cases involving serious crimes such as murder, rape, or arson.

About 30,000 U.S. soldiers are currently stationed in South Korea.

Source: Xinhua

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