U.S. soldier charged with rape, transferred to South Korean custody

Stars and Stripes reports that a U.S. Soldier charged with rape was transferred to South Korean custody:

South Korean police charged a U.S. soldier Tuesday with rape and larceny for allegedly attacking a 17-year-old South Korean girl in her residence on Sept. 17, following a night of drinking in Seoul.

Pvt. Kevin Robinson, 21, who is stationed at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, was transferred to South Korean custody upon his arrest, according to a member of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office.

This case came to public attention during the trial of another U.S. soldier accused of raping a teenage girl:

Pvt. Kevin Lee Flippin was convicted and sentenced last month to 10 years in prison for brutally raping a 17-year-old South Korean girl.

A string of crimes by U.S. troops in Korea is prompting calls for the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) to be revised:

Two high-profile South Korean rape cases involving U.S. troops as well as a fire in Itaewon last week linked to a U.S. soldier have renewed complaints about the status of forces agreement outlining legal procedures and protections for the U.S. military community. The agreement has generated such anger and political outcry in South Korea that officials from both countries met Wednesday in Seoul to discuss it.

Critics call the SOFA agreement a shield for U.S. soldiers dodging swift justice. Others believe it’s a valuable tool to protect the rights of U.S. citizens in foreign countries.

South Korean politicians and critics are calling for the agreement to be revised so police can retain custody of U.S. military suspects before they are formally indicted by prosecutors — something prohibited by the current agreement in virtually all cases. South Korean police and the activists supporting them claim that the SOFA puts unnecessary roadblocks in the way of the police doing their jobs.

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