As E-1 in brutal rape of Korean girl pleads for leniency, USFK extends curfew indefinitely


U.S. Forces Korea Commander Gen. James D. Thurman had said the curfew would expire Jan. 6, but it has been extended indefinitely this week. (U.S. Army photo//Pfc. Kim Jae-you)

The soldier whose rape case is largely responsible for the curfew for American service members in South Korea is asking for a reduction in his 10-year sentence, Stripes reports.

Pvt. Kevin Lee Flippin, who drunkenly attacked a 17-year-old at knifepoint in her apartment near Camp Casey, expressed regret for his actions and asked for leniency.

His sentence for the four-hour assault was one of the most severe for a U.S. servicemember in South Korea in nearly 20 years, prompting some to suggest the defendant was unfairly punished because of the scrutiny his case received in South Korea and his status as an American soldier.

The attack has triggered protests, calls for revisions to the status of forces agreement with South Korea and apologies from American military officials.

This week,  U.S. Forces Korea announced that the curfew will continue indefinitely and, starting Saturday, the hours will be revised to 1 to 5 a.m. every day, Stripes reports.  The move comes after Gen. James D. Thurman, USFK commander, twice set deadlines for the curfew and then extended it.

The command rescinded the previous curfew July 2, 2010, which had been in place for nine years.

Stripes provided reporting from inside the South Korean courtroom:

While taking full responsibility and apologizing for his actions in the Sept. 24 rape of a 17-year-old Korean girl, Pvt. Kevin Lee Flippin told a three-judge Seoul High Court panel, “I think 10 years is a little too much.

“I know that I did a very bad thing,” he said during his brief statement. “This is the only time I did anything wrong to another human being.”

Flippin’s attorney, Noh Sucheol, said that while, “It goes without saying that the damage to the victim can’t be compensated by money,” she has been paid $20,000 in “compensation,” and an unspecified amount more will be given to her in the future.

In addition, he said Flippin “acted out of impulse” while drunk, and he “could not control [his]urge to hurt such a young girl.”

In South Korean courts, compensation paid to victims and a defendant’s degree of intoxication are factors often considered in sentencings and appeals.

Noh added that Flippin “enlisted in the service with big dreams,” and he served “diligently” prior to the attack.


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  1. is it just me, or is anybody else worried that this guy “cannot control his urge” to rape underage girls for 4 hours when he returns stateside? i say keep him in a korean cell forever… i think true sexual deviants like this are born and cannot be rehabilitated (see catholic church and penn state football).

  2. Kid deserved it… he did some nasty stuff and deserves all the punishment he could get. Screwed me over too, as that happened right when I got here (Casey). It’s cool, I love not being able to go out and really explore S Korea while I’m here…

  3. How does mass punishment demonstrate to the Koreans that we are civilized people? I saw the curfew enforced in 2001 after 911 for reasons still unknown to me. MPs patrolling the streets cause only more animosity between the military and Koreans. Who is advising General Thurman????

  4. Food for thought for those who have no idea how the Korean criminal justice system works, but believe this E-1 got fair treatment. Take the 2004 case of a Korean cab driver who raped a 19 yr old US Army private who just arrived in country after a 14 hour flight, missed the bus to Yongsan, and decided to take a taxi. Instead of a ride to Yongsan she was raped by the 49 yr old cab driver. What happened to the cab driver? He received a 10-month prison term, which was actually overturned later by the Seoul High Court. Fortunately an even higher court had some degree of sanity later in giving the man a 2.5 yr jail sentence. The courts all along said that the 19yr old soldier had “not resisted enough” to constitute rape…really, after 14 hrs on the plane and arriving in a strange country right out of boot camp, they put the burden on this poor girl to prove she wasn’t raped by a crusty 49 yr old cab driver? What if this was your daughter? Think twice before agreeing so readily that justice is fair in Korea.

  5. Some said he should get life, or even more time. I believe that people like this can not be rehabilitated and need to be sentenced to dead and that sentence carried right away, not 20 or 30 years down the road. Same goes for murderers and child molesters. Laws need to be revised.

  6. That Private put all of us in the military too shame. He does not deserve leniency. I do not care if this was his first offense. We all work hard and we are all adults and we, especially being in the military, uphold the highest honor, discipline, and integrity in the things we do. so one little incident, we should be aware of the consequences. So for this Private asking for less time, 10 years is already less. he should get a minimum of 17 years, and have a restraining order from any military base within a 100-mile radius. He is a rapist and he is proud of it. Soldiers like this should get kicked out ASAP and leave us that work very hard trying to restore the US Army is good name.

  7. why are we still in Korea? I think they can defend there own damn country. Not to mention it costs more to have soldiers there than here in the united states, where there money can be reinvested into our own economy rather than a foreign one. Don’t give me the whole stop China thing either your an idiot if you think they’ll ever go to war with us our economies are too intertwined and we would both be destroyed.

  8. God I hate Korea and was furious when they got rid of the hardship tour and built up Camp Humphries, I would loath that place if I was ever stationed there. We dont even need to be there anymore and I hear horror stories about their stupid rules. As for giving someone life for rape i find disturbing, only life sentences should be given for capital offenses. I was very emotional when someone stole my laptop and thought they should have lost their hand for being a thief. Life’s not fair.

  9. CSM(R) Joe Graves on

    The Soldier does not deserve any breaks. He committed a violent crime and should go to jail. As for the curfew, just deal with it, it is part of the Soldiers life.

  10. SSgt Rodriguez on

    Is this guy for real? He committed a crime out of URGE and he wants a BREAK in his sentence? What’s gonna be next, murder, child molestation? He needs to be a grown up MAN and accept responsibility for his actions. A lot of us work very hard to upkeep our Armed Forces standards for some piece of dirt to come to stain it.

  11. SFC Robert Luna on

    He deserves everything that is handed down to him. Soldiers like this have no part in this Army. Once he gets out, maybe then he will realize the Price of Freedom. Max him to the full extent, 10 years seems fair, if not give him more time.

  12. This piece of crap needs to be hammered with anything they can throw at him. I’ve been to the ROK twice, and it’s a crappy place to be, under the best circumstances, of course, that was the old days too.

    But one slime GI like this private doing something this terrible stains us all for years, and any goodwill we have earned is instantly forgotten after an incident like this. Execute him.

  13. Drinking needs to be banned from the peninsula. So many problems from there just would not have happened if alcohol was not so accessible and abused there.

  14. The Soldier doesn’t deserve a shorter sentence. He held a girl at knife point for four hours and raped her. He has to face his decision for ten years. That poor girl has to live with the ordeal the rest of her life.

  15. Soldier No more, on

    The Army sent me to Korea 3 time and everytime things got more stupid. Cuz of things other people did. Be smart, use this time to go to college and get out of the military. The only people that hang on to the military are those to blind to face the real world.

  16. He deserves no lenicey!!! If he was in the states he wouldnt get any so why should he get it here in another country. I love an american but sometimes I think we think we deserve to be treated better then other human beings everyone should be treated same korean, american or black, white or yellow.

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