1 Apr 2011

Navy sailor jailed for attempted rape of colleague

4:46 pm on 1 April 2011

A sailor who tried to rape a female colleague has been dismissed from the Navy and sent to jail for 20 months.

Penehe Sola, who is 22, also faced a charge of unlawful sexual connection but was acquitted of that by a five-member military panel at a court martial in Auckland on Friday.

The incident happened in a hotel room in the United States city of San Diego last July after the pair had been drinking with a group of other sailors.

The victim sat through proceedings with her mother and was at times inconsolable. As the verdicts were read out, they broke down in tears and held each other tightly.

Sola, who served in the Navy as a chef, will be transferred to a civilian jail to begin his sentence.