US Soldiers Held in South Korea in Woman's Sex Assault on Subway

Monday, 04 Feb 2013 06:43 PM

By Michael Mullins

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Three U.S. soldiers remain in custody in South Korea and three are being sought after a woman was sexually harassed and assaulted Saturday night in a subway car.

The incident reportedly occurred after the women in her early 20s approached six soldiers and asked them to lower their music and stop dancing around.

Witnesses said the woman was then verbally and physically assaulted by the troops. Three of the Americans fled before authorities arrived.

The assailants repeatedly touched the woman's breasts, wrists, and arms while taking photos of her and telling her that she was "cute" and "beautiful," witnesses told Chosun Ilbo, a South Korean daily newspaper.

Though no one stepped in during the alleged assault, bystanders prevented three of the soldiers from exiting the station until authorities could arrive. The other three soldiers are believed to have fled back to their base, where military police are conducting an investigation and seeking their identity.

The names of the three arrested soldiers have yet to be released.

The Second Infantry Division responded to the incident in a statement via Stars and Stripes:

"We are cooperating fully with the Korean National Police as they conduct their investigation. We take any allegation of inappropriate behavior very seriously and will take appropriate action based on the results of the investigation. The (South Korea)-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement holds U.S. soldiers accountable to Korean laws, and we will work . . . to ensure those laws are enforced."

The incident has garnered extensive media coverage in South Korea news outlets.

In the past, other incidents in which South Korean civilians were assaulted or injured by U.S. military personnel have led to protests.

Approximately 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed on the Korean peninsula, which technically remains at war since the 1950-1953 conflict ended without a peace treaty.

Related stories:

 US Servicemen Arrested in Okinawa for Suspected Rape

Japan Protests Another US Troop-Related Incident

U.S. Officers Held on Drug, Rape Charges in South Korea


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