Danny Chen Trial: Ryan J. Offutt pleads guilty


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.       Contact: Elizabeth OuYang, (718) 650-1960

August 13, 2012

Facing charges of negligent homicide,  Specialist Ryan J. Offutt plead guilty to hazing and maltreatment at a court martial before the Trial Judge, Col. Michael Hargis at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.   Specialist Offut was also charged with calling Private Danny Chen racially derogatory names like “chink”, “gook”, “fortune cookie”, “slants”, “egg roll”, “Jackie Chen”, “dragon lady”, “squint eye”,  and “Jap”. He faced charges of maltreatment for kicking Danny in the chest, throwing rocks and water bottles at him, and grabbing by his vest and dragging him.

The Trial Judge sentenced him to six months confinement, discharge from the Army for bad misconduct, and reduction in rank to E1.

“Judge Hargis’ sentence sends a strong signal to superiors that they will be disciplined, including discharged from the Army if they engage in hazing and racial maltreatment.  The judge’s sentence recognized there is no place in the Army for a convicted soldier, especially a superior, who has been convicted of racial maltreatment and hazing. Hazing and racial maltreatment that drives a soldier to his death warrants this strong  sentence”, stated Elizabeth OuYang, president of OCA-NY, the lead advocacy organization advocating for justice for Private Danny Chen.

The contingency from New York attending the trial  includes Danny’s parents, aunt, uncle, and four cousins; Jing Mei Huang, danny’s middle-school classmate; Elizabeth OuYang, OCA-NY president and OCA-NY members Christina Lo- school teacher, Arvin Chin-doctor, Mackenzie Yang-voting rights intern, and Julia Chung-hate crimes prevention art project coordinator; Alan  Shing  Chan-electrician; Liang Guo-technology analyst; Xiao Min Zhao-policy associate and constituent service liaison for Councilwoman Margaret Chin; Taylor Clark-Starbucks barista; Crystal Chen-Wheaton College; and Hye Mee Na and Mansee Kong, independent film makers.  Members of the Fayetteville Chinese Association and Asian Americans for Progress-North Carolina chapter also attended the trial.