Remember the six US soldiers accused of sexual harassment on the subway? Well two of them have been hit with UCMJ while the ROK authorities decide what to do with this case:
While local authorities continue to investigate a subway incident in which a half-dozen U.S. soldiers were accused of harassing a Korean woman, the American military has started handing out its own punishment.
The commander of the 2nd Infantry Division’s Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion imposed “non-judicial punishment” under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice on two of the soldiers for underage drinking prior to the confrontation.
That resulted in a reduction in rank for one soldier, and 45 days of extra duty and 45 days of restriction for both, according to a 2ID spokesman.
The battalion commander is waiting for a final disposition of the case by Korean authorities before deciding what, if any, additional action will be taken against those two soldiers and the others implicated in the incident.
“The 2nd Infantry Division takes soldier misconduct very seriously and will take appropriate action based on the results of the investigation,” 2ID spokesman Lt. Col. Joe Scrocca said. [Stars & Stripes]
From my time in Korea, underage drinking was an automatic Field Grade Article 15 which is pretty severe punishment. As far as what the ROK authorities do with this case has yet to be seen. The fact it is taking so long to indict someone shows that the evidence is not very strong. The soldiers will be convicted of something because this incident is to high profile not to. However, the prosecutors may be letting this case disappear from the headlines before charging them with a lesser crime that their evidence supports. I guess we will see what happens.