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International Hold On Civilian Contractor Is Lifted

February 2023

February 8, 2023, Civilian Contractor, Camp Henry, South Korea. Civilian contractor is accused of inappropriately sexually touching a foreign national who is a minor while on a commuter train. The parent of the minor contacts the United States Army and reports their allegations against the civilian contractor. He is immediately under suspicion of sexual assault and U.S. Army CID begins an investigation. Although CID is an investigative agency with the U.S. Army, it is given jurisdiction to conduct investigations of civilians on military installations. CID conducts a search of the contractor's living quarters and even seizes electronic devices from him, to include his cell phone. Contractor's passport is taken away from him and he is denied the ability to travel back to the United States. Contractor signs off on a "Civilian Request to be taken into custody by U.S. Military Authorities (USFK SOFA CJ Form 3), but is never provided with another necessary form, "Acknowledgment of International Hold." Contractor is never given any documentation nor proper notice of a legal hold against him, pending an investigation. This was never presented to him when his passport is taken.  Contractor declines to participate further in the investigation and retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him. Gapasin immediately reaches out to the CID agents conducting the investigation to notify them of his representation. Gapasin cites to issues with the legal hold during the pending investigation as well as the lack of notice. Gapasin interacts with Military Police Investigators and the 8th Army Headquarters' SOFA liaison involved in his client's case regarding the allegations and the procedural problems with the investigation. The SOFA liaison contacts Gapasin's client's supervisor to inform him of the issues with the legal hold. After considerable discussions, the supervisor eventually relents and allows Gapasin's client to get both his official and traveler's passport at the Camp Walker MP investigator's office. RESULT: Investigation Is Ultimately DISMISSED, Legal Hold Is LIFTED, And Gapasin's Client Is Allowed To Continue Working Overseas With The Military.

Ernesto Gapasin