Photo via New York Daily News
Nearly a year after Private Danny Chen took his life as a victim of military hazing in Afghanistan, former Specialist Ryan Offutt pleaded guilty to the maltreatment and hazing of Chen in North Carolina on Monday.
Although the more serious charges of negligent homicide and reckless endangerment were cleared, Offutt was sentenced to six months of confinement, a reduction in rank to private and dishonorable discharge from the Army, reports WNYC.
The former specialist had taunted Chen by calling him “chink,” “gook,” “squint eyes,” “egg roll,” “fortune cookie” and kicking and throwing rocks at him, according to New York Daily News.
Offutt, 32, is the second soldier to be convicted under suspicion for being connected with 19-year-old Chen’s suicide. In July, Sergeant Adam Holcomb admitted to the mistreatment of Chin. Six more soldiers were charged in Chen’s death and will be facing trial.
Councilwoman Margaret Chin called the sentence “a victory for the Chen family and for all Americans.”
“I am proud that the Army has taken a stand against hazing and handed down a bad conduct discharge in this case. The removal of Spc. Offutt from the Army is necessary to make clear that the United States Military will not tolerate racism, bigotry, and abuse at the hands of superior officers,” she added.