GI Arrested in South Korea and Charged With Attempted Rape

From Reuters

A U.S. soldier based in South Korea was arrested Wednesday and charged with attempted rape after he allegedly broke into a woman's apartment, a U.S. military statement said.

It said Army Pvt. Terrence Hines was in U.S. military custody after Korean police pursued him from the apartment in the Itaewon district of Seoul, which is near the country's biggest American military base.

Police were called to the apartment early in the morning by a neighbor, the statement said.

A total of 37,000 U.S. troops are based in South Korea. Criminal acts in the past by American service personnel have prompted anti-American outbursts by groups opposed to the bases.

Hines, who is attached to a medical unit, reportedly injured his head while fleeing. He was charged with assault, housebreaking and breach of the peace, the statement said.

"United States Forces Korea has a no-tolerance policy for all criminal acts and will cooperate fully with the Korean National Police and prosecutor's office," it said.

South Korean and U.S. military police are conducting a joint investigation.

The case is one of several recently involving U.S. soldiers in the country.

Last month, South Korean authorities took jurisdiction in a case involving a soldier who has been accused of attacking a Korean woman outside a U.S. base in the city of Taegu.

Pvt. Bill Lee Bennett, 18, is accused of aggravated assault on the 48-year-old woman on Nov. 29.

Also in December, U.S. Sgt. Frank Golina, 31, was given a six-month prison sentence after being found guilty of assaulting a Korean man.

Under the Status of Forces agreement, U.S. soldiers charged with a crime remain in American military custody until a final sentence is handed down.

In Japan, the rape of a 12-year-old schoolgirl, for which three U.S. servicemen are standing trial, has prompted an outpouring of anti-U.S. sentiment and strained relations between Tokyo and Washington.

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