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Press Release

Former Department of Defense Employee Sentenced for Assaulting a U.S. Military Member in Korea

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A former Department of Defense civilian employee was sentenced today to one year and eight months in prison for assaulting a U.S. military member in July 2020.

U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert; Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Special Agent Andrew D. Franz of the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Osan Air Base Korea; and Special Agent in Charge Sid Patel of the FBI Sacramento Field Office made the announcement.

According to court documents, Gerald Leon Ray III, 27, of Lathrop, California, intentionally struck the victim in the face near Osan Air Base, a U.S. military installation in the Republic of Korea. The assault caused the victim to fall to the ground strike his head on the pavement and suffer serious bodily injury. The evidence showed that, without immediate medical attention, which he received, the victim could have died. The victim’s injuries included a broken jaw, brain hemorrhage, and ongoing physical and mental health symptoms. At the time, Ray was employed in the Republic of Korea by the Defense Commissary Agency, a Department of Defense agency, on Osan Air Base.

The charge was brought under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (MEJA), which establishes U.S. jurisdiction over certain offenses committed abroad by, among others, civilian employees of the Armed Forces.

Ray previously pleaded guilty on March 21 in the Eastern District of California to assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

The U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the FBI investigated this case, with assistance from the U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigation Division and the U.S. Marshals Service in connection with the arrest, initial detention, and transport of Ray.

Trial Attorney Marie Zisa of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Heiko P. Coppola for the Eastern District of California prosecuted the case.

Updated June 27, 2024

Violent Crime